Domaine du Pech, owned by Magali Tissot & Ludovic Bonnelle, is a family owned and run domain in the heart of south west France, which focus on Terroir expression, biodynamic processes and crafted quality.
Established in 1978, Domaine du Pech is located on the eastern border of the AC of Buzet, about 100km south east of Bordeaux, on the hills to the north of Gascony. In 1997, Magali and Ludovic took full responsibility of the estate; and in 2003, they adopted and turned the Domaine to biodynamic production.
Hence, they produce wines using no chemical interference, whether in the vineyard or winery, no sulfur either, which is a risky strategy, but one they can take due to the high quality of the essential raw components: healthy vines and grapes.
The wines are produced from the typical varieties of the region: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc for the reds and Sauvignon Blanc for their limited release white. They greatly believe in Terroir expression and each variety is paired to the perfect soil to maximize its quality potential.
The label art work is designed by their two daughters.
Brief facts about the Domaine:
- 17ha of vineyard planted on gravel, limestone and clay soil using cordon training
- Average yields of 10-25 hl/ha due to careful pruning, bud removal and selection (no green harvesting)
- Active natural predator encouragement program (note the ladybird on the label)
- Hand harvested by a team of 30 trained pickers who have worked at the Domaine for many years and who provide the first tranche of fruit selection
- Only wild yeasts are used to ferment, made possible because chemicals do not kill them in the vineyard
- All fruits goes through a strict selection regime at the crusher and sorting table (a long process but worth it)
- No enzymes or chemical additions adding during fermentation and elevage (ageing) . Long maturation in wooden casks and demi-muid (depending on the cuvee) up to 3 years in some cases, allowing nature to work her magic
- No filtration or fining required so they don’t use it . All wines are bottled at the winery using their own bottling line (1.5g/hl of sulfur added only when required and depending of the vintage)
2005 Domaine du Pech "Le Pech Abusé" (Buzet) Rouge Vendanges Manuelles Biodynamic (Magali Tissot & Ludovic Bonnelle)
Suggested retail price: $19-$22
Imported / distributed by Metropolis Wines in NYC
A blend of 40% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon from hillside vines, which spent about 3 years ageing nicely in very old oak casks (36 month in oak, with pigeage every other day, and fermentation with natural yeasts only), this biodynamic Buzet possesses balance, ripeness and depth. Alcoholic fermentation naturally stopped at 15 grams, no SO2 added at all, and like most natural wines, no filtering or fining before bottling. 500 cases produced. We just received it and I love it.
Anecdote about the name of the wine: "Le Pech Abusé" is a play of word about the fact that Domaine Pech has been abused from its right of putting "AOC Buzet" on the label, even if the wine is from Buzet, because certain of its features didn't comply with AOC regulations: high alcohol content, length of the ageing process, etc...
Beside its bright ruby color, it offers expressive aromas of blueberry, blackberry and black fruit, mingled with earthy, smoky and mineral notes. The palate is rich, generous, ripe and super juicy with the same type of flavors as on the nose with oak ageing nuances, enhanced by good acidity and integrated tannins. The finish is quite soft, rounded and really ripe, but not overripe or stewed. Highly recommended. Discover natural, biodynamic red wine with hearty dishes like Cassoulet, Saucisse lentille, Magret de Canard, Braised beef, etc... How not to "abuse" of it, when it is so good?
This wine, once again, confirmed my passion for the Southwest of France and its rather undiscovered wines. Being from the Southwest of France myself, I have always been the faithful ambassador of the wines from this area. And surprisingly enough, despite the fact that the 5 top selling wines in the store are French, one of them is a super friendly, crisp and zesty little white, from Gascony, made from two indigenous grape varieties: Colombard and Ugni Blanc. I already wrote about it in an earlier post and will review it again soon.
LeDom du Vin
Info partly taken and edited from the importer website at www.winemc2.com and from the winery website at http://www.domainedupech.com/
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