Twenty-Sixth (26th) Edition Wine Club

 This month's theme is "For the Grill". I wanted wines that felt suitable to all different types of outdoor cooking that we will all inevitably be participating in through the rest of the summer. Nothing complicated!


Domaine Malpaso
I'm Bad I'm Nation Wine '22
Grenache Gris/Carignan Blanc

Baixas, Roussillon, France


Hatuey learned to do it like you learn to ride a bike, by getting on it. 2022 is his first vintage, he started making wine in 2017 after spending many years experimenting freely with grapes, helped by local winemakers, while doing his job as a specialized educator for disabled children. All the vines are located in Montner on the hillsides leading to the Col de la Bataille. They are all on shale and three of them are on a mound of shale and quartz.


The grapes are brought to Baixas where Hatuey lives. The cellar is vaulted and dates from the 17th century. Elevage is done in small stainless steel vats of 6 and 5 hectoliters, because the larger ones don't fit through the door. The press is an old ratchet press with a wooden cage. Everything is done by hand; except for a brush cutter. He's still trying to mow by hand with a scythe but it’s really too hard. Even the corker is manual and dates from the end of the 19th century.


"Little by little I learned with my wines, I continue to learn and experiment. The advantage in this job is the diversity of the work, the link of temporality, the long time to arrive at the tasting of the work of the previous year. I reduced the duration of maceration, I am still trial and error for the whites. In 2023, I harvested early. In short, I am not in a routine, I am not placing myself in a mastery because I am a learner. I don't worry about making my wines look like others, I accompany my wines in their existence and I try to be there when they need me, hoping that what I do for them suits them."


Grenache Gris planted in 1910, Carignan Blanc planted in 1950 (on the same highest plot of Montner). Direct pressing then elevage on lees without racking, some pumping over to bring in a little oxygen. Bottling in June 2023. - Chris Camo (the importer)


Lillian and Sophie Bauchet
L'Herbe Folle NV
Lancie, Beaujolais, France


"Phil Jambon once described Beaujolais as "the Bermuda triangle of winemaking." If you hear of a climate-related catastrophe in France, there's a good chance that Beaujolais was affected. Hail, frost, mildiou, odium, and plain old black rot: Beaujolais has them all. In years like 2018, 2020 or 2023, the climate was Saharan: extreme heat with no rainfall. There were even a couple of sand storms. At one point in July of 2023 we measured the surface temperature in Leynes, an astonishing 118 degrees fahrenheit! Under these conditions, the region's famous granite soils, unretentive of water and highly reflective of heat, are a curse for viticulture. In other years, such as the present one, the rainfall has been Amazonian, allowing mildiou to ravage otherwise high-yielding plants. For those who beat back the mildiou with ungodly amounts of copper (more on that below), there's always a good chance of a late Spring hailstorm - Beaujolais is famous for those, too! And if you are lucky enough to avoid all of that, Phil notes, then you have to deal with the Beaujolais people themselves, a rough bunch known for their gargantuan appetite for pork fat, gamay, and bar fights!
Since 2018, we've seldom received wine from Lillian Bauchet, a staunch opponent of négoce winemaking, who prefers to work with the (increasingly rare) fruits of his own labor. Quiet, bookish and unconcerned with celebrity, Lillian set up shop in Fleurie about 12 years ago, tending a few hectares of vines in the shadow of some of Beaujolais' most famous crus. In 2017, disgusted by the increasing concentration of agro-chemicals used in the appellation, he sold his parcels, bought land in the more working class viticultural quarter of Lancié, close to Morgon,  and decamped with his family to Fleurieux, a small village on the other side of the Saône. It was around that time that Lillian planted hybrids, both in his backyard, on the site of a defunct tennis court, and in Lancié, among his gamay. Lillian believes that his hybrid plants are more resistant to drought, more resistant to frost, and completely non-dependent on treatments - meaning no sulfur and no copper, no matter how much it rains.

Lillian has started to experiment with solera-style elevage for his gamays in the past few years, inspired in large part by his friend Philippe Jambon on the other side of the river. 'L'Herbe Folle' is a 4-vintage blend, aged until 2020 in old barrels. It's a grand wine that makes you wonder why more people don't vinify gamay this way." - Josh Eubank (the importer)


Les Cigales dans la Fourmilière (Ivo Ferreira & Julie Brosselin)
On Verra La Mer '23

Montpeyroux, Languedoc, France


"'The cicada and the ant is a metaphor for life: one works hard, whilst the other goes slow and enjoys life. Ivo & Julie want to do both, and actually bring these two energies together when working under the same roof.'
Despite having merged their land and vineyards a few years back, Julie and Ivo both give each other space to experiment and keep two personal approaches when it comes to the wines they make. They have created together a joint venture ‘Les Cigales dans la Fourmillière’ with the aim of amalgamating their respective production styles, and turning it into a proper space for creativity and freedom.
Julie and Ivo tend today 10 hectares of vines together in and around the village of Montpeyroux, in the Hérault department. Their joint story started when they created a partnership in 2016, allowing them to have more room to experiment in their day to day work. Ivo isn’t your average type of French vigneron. Originally from Portugal his early years in wine were spent alongside legendary names like Jean-Marc Brignot and Chateau Le Puy. He created Domaine de l’Escarpolette in 2009 (meaning ‘Swing’ in old French, and you can see these scenes in his blanc and rouge labels) to try and find a place where he could farm that has less pressure from mildew.
After working with fellow partner Aurelien Petit from Domaine Le Petit, Julie also started her own venture in Montpeyroux, before joining forces with Ivo. They both now share a cellar in Montpeyroux, working with different winemaking techniques (maceration for whites and reds), and various vessels (fibre glass, 225l and 600l barrels, large foudres), all in the aid of making singular, distinctive wines." - Newcomer Wines
This is a light and charming wine with moderate alcohol, and plenty of ripe, red fruit. Cinsault is generally considered a blending grapes for the wines of the Rhone Valley, but done with a gentle hand can lead to delicious singular expressions. In this case it is mixed with some Sangiovese to pump up the fruit and earthiness. 



Jerome Lambert
Coule de Source '22
Chenin Blanc
Rablay-sur-Layon, Loire Valley, France


"Jérôme Lambert tends a couple of hectares of vines near Rablay-sur-Layon in a part of Anjou that is undoubtedly one of the Loire’s great terroirs. Jérôme is a true Angevin. Born in the area but not to a family of vignerons, his love of wine grew naturally. As a teenager he would pick leftover grapes, stomp on them and wait to see what would become of the fermenting juice. For over a decade he farmed less than a hectare, making wine guided by nothing but instinct and occasional advice from locals such as Richard Leroy.
Jérôme now farms four and half hectares spread across small parcels in Thouarcé, Faye d’Anjou, Rablay-sur-Layon and Champ-sur-Layon. He has worked organically from the outset and has been making wine without any additions for several decades. He is best known for producing achingly pure Chenin Blanc from three parcels of old vines planted over schist. These taut, focused examples of Chenin provide a wonderful expression of Anjou’s terroir and possess a great ability to age.
As is the case when spending time with the man himself, there is never a dull moment drinking Jérôme’s wines, which combine energy, purity and a little finesse to brilliant effect. 'Coule de Source' is Chenin Blanc from three small parcels of old vines planted over schist. The grapes are pressed directly straight to cuve, where the wine remained for ten months. This warmer vintage has produced a vibrant wine hazy with ripe stone fruit, citrus and flint. As always, this is as pure an expression of the grape as you will find." - Tutto Wines