Closerie des Moussis
This “micro-estate” in the Médoc is run by Pascale Choime and Laurence Alias, who handle the winemaking and farming, respectively. The two women built the winery from scratch, investing their own money and growing their vineyard area from a miniscule 1.5 acres to a modest 5 acres. They work organically and biodynamically in their parcels—a rarity in Bordeaux until fairly recently—plowing with the help of a pair of draft horses named Jumpa and Fée. The vines for their Haut-Médoc grow on the Plateau de Sénéjac in a gravelly plot surrounded by dense woods (a boon for biodiversity). They tend to harvest before their neighbors since they look for freshness and tension in the grapes but also because biodynamically tended vineyards have been observed to ripen earlier than conventionally farmed ones.
Fermentation at Closerie des Moussis gets kicked off with a pied de cuve—a technique that Chiome perfected during her days as the oenologist for the local wine school, Lycée Agro-Viticole de Bordeaux-Blanquefort. That is, a small portion of grapes are harvested several days before true picking begins to create a starter batch of active native yeasts. The women destem (mostly) and vinify the varieties separately, aging the wines for 12 months in 400-liter neutral barrels before blending.
varieties: cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc soil type: sandy gravel
avg vine age: 35 years
70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, biodynamically farmed on the gravelly Sénéjac plateau. The varieties are hand harvested, fermented and vinified separately, using only native yeasts. The finished wine is bottled without any added SO2.