Le Batossay (Baptiste Cousin): 'Puppet Nat'

Le Batossay (Baptiste Cousin): 'Puppet Nat'

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Baptiste Cousin Jr's winery is one of many buildings that used to form Château de Boisairault, a large old agricultural estate dating back to 1600, famous for its tobacco production. Due to twists and turns in its recent history, the Chateau became completely derelict...Luckily for him, one of the things he inherited from his father (besides his knack for winemaking and rebellious spirit) is also dexterity and love for construction work. 

The once run-down estate has now not only become a winery of Baptiste’s own, but also continues to find other uses as well, including a nascent multifunctional space that will serve their community as a school for kids during the day, eating space at lunchtime, and a venue for parties, weddings or concerts on evenings and weekends. Baptiste praises this unique spot that allows him to exist virtually off-the-grid, a feature that is very important for his radical nature.

Baptiste farms some 4.5 hectares that his father left him in 2012 when Cousin Sr. decided to concentrate on Cabernet Franc. He continues to work these plots (including a plot of Chenin planted in the 1950s) in the same way as his father: by hand, plowing with horses and using his own biodynamic herbal teas and other formulas. But you won’t hear about it unless you ask – chez les Cousins, it’s just the normal thing to do. “I’d never play this card to show off on the internet in the sense of “look how authentic we are, we have a horse and everything,” adds Baptiste, who’s very private and wary of the current social media craze. 

The vineyards are certified organic by both AB-Ecocert and Nature et progrès, a French label that goes beyond organic farming: “It’s not about biodynamics, it’s a certification of… peasantry (la paysannerie),” Baptiste explains the differences. Also designed to address the social dimensions of farming, the organization “requires you to employ local products and workers, ethical financing, solidarity.. And the monitoring is more strict and thorough since you are checked by the farmer-members themselves, not just by someone outside agriculture who doesn’t fully understand what they are controlling.” - Jenny & Francois (the importer)

To read on, click here.

The grapes were hand harvested, macerated for 12 days and then pressed. Bottled under crown caps while the primary native fermentation was still going, to keep the CO2 in bottles, as is typical for a pet-nat. Lightly fizzy, fruity and round red bubbles.

Producer

Le Batossay (Baptiste Cousin)

Grape(s)

Gamay + a little Cab Franc

Region

Boirsairault, Loire Valley

Country

France

Vintage

2020