Biodynamic Crémant in Bordeaux #Winophiles

      8 Comments on Biodynamic Crémant in Bordeaux #Winophiles

Virginie Aubrion Château de Piote Bordeaux Superieur Demeter biodynamic wineWhile Champagne is probably the most prestigious sparkling wine, there are many superb options produced throughout the world using the “Champagne Method”. In France, but outside the borders of the official “Champagne” region you will find Crémant made in eight areas. Virginie Aubrion is making two biodynamic in Bordeaux.

Aubrion is not your ordinary woman. Deciding to change her life is how she, her husband and kids landed in Bordeaux making organic wines at Château de Piote.

Originally from the south of France, Paris offered a great job with world travel after studies. And it offered a further opportunity to develop a palate for nice wines.

Chateau de Piote Bordeaux Mark Gowdy Corentin Aubrion

Mark and Corentin in Bordeaux

Mark and I met Aubrion through his former classmate, her son Corentin, who generously invited us to spend a spring day at the Château a few years ago.

Knowing she makes two very nice sparkling wines, in addition to red and white wines, I reached out to buy some and ascertain the latest happenings at the Château.

The spurring of my interest comes from the March French #Winophiles theme: Crémant de Bordeaux. Our group convenes today on Twitter at 11am ET, 17:00 in France using hashtag #winophiles to converse our discoveries.

 

Let’s jump in and learn about Aubrion and her Crémant!

First a Farmer, Second a Winemaker

Virginie Aubrion Chateau de Piote Bordeaux

Aubrion prefers to be outside in the vineyards, working with and listening to her vines. Her strong character is a good match for what nature may throw her way.

From the beginning she eschewed the use of herbicides or pesticides knowing it was better to work the land versus spraying it. Further thought concluded biodynamic principles were yet more logical. As a result, the estate was Demeter certified. It was initially a rocky ride but the biodynamic stamp officially secured in 2018.

With biodynamics, various vineyard treatments are allowed. Aubrion buys some preparations and grows plants to make others- nettle, horsetail, fern, valerian and dandelion. Once cut, they are dried and infusions are prepared. A most difficult item is spraying these preparations. While they could use a tractor Aubrion prefers limiting tractor use thus all vineyard work is by hand. Most plowing is done with a horse, while other animals roam the property. In fact three lambs were just born!

In the cellar, her passion for quality wine comes through strongly. She loves to experiment, using different shapes and materials- terracotta amphorae, sandstone eggs, cement tanks and less common wine bottle shapes. She’s also experiments with longer macerations, some six months to a year.

Perles at Piote

Two sparkling wines are in her line up- a white and a rosé. For these she wants ripe grapes with higher acidity, something not always achievable especially given the warming planet. For this reason she doesn’t make Crémant every year. But when nature provides both- ripe grapes with good acidity- her average production is just 3,000 bottles. Ecocert certifies both wines organic and as of her 2018 vintage, biodynamic.

I hope I got you in the mood for Crémant! Here are my tasting notes for Aubrion’s Perles. Both are lovely wines, excellent quality, 9.50€ per bottle, which I happily paid!

Crémant de Bordeaux AOP Rosé Brut – 2014

Crémant de Bordeaux AOP Rosé Château di Piote

The French word Perles translates to pearls and refers to the shining fine mousse (bubbles) in each bottle

100% Cabernet Franc – Clear, pale salmon color. Rich red fruit notes (strawberry and plum) with a hint of toast. Strawberry mouse emerges on the bright palate. Balanced structure with attractive acidity that carries on. Dry with a medium body and medium finish.

Crémant de Bordeaux AOP Blanc Brut – 2014

Chateau de Piote Crémant de Bordeaux AOP BlancThis blend is 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Colombard.

Aubrion adds Colombard, naturally a high acid grape, to tip the ‘fresh’ scale of this wine.

Clear, pale yellow color. Fruity aromas of apple and pear mingle with lemony toast. Chamomile, pear and lemon emerge on the fresh, bright and soft palate with hints of brioche. Delicate yet persistent mousse. Dry with a medium body and a finish that lingers.

If you’ve ever thought about doing a “WWOOF” (Willing To Work On Organic Farm), Château de Piote is a great option. Read what people say about their experience.

French #Winophiles Talk About Crémant de Bordeaux

8 thoughts on “Biodynamic Crémant in Bordeaux #Winophiles

  1. Robin Bell Renken

    Getting certified, especially Demeter Certified can be tough. I love that she has decided to take that step! The wines sound lovely. I am such a sucker for bubbles. I love her experimentation in the cellar. There are so many interesting ways of making wines in a very natural style to explore!

    Reply
    1. Lynn Post author

      It’s a big step to seek Demeter certification, like a way of life. And she and her few sons working with her are doing it! I’m a bubble sucker too. You don’t know how many times I’ve wanted to pop a bottle by myself.

      Reply
  2. Ann

    I’m so glad to know about this Château. I know many wineries don’t use pesticides and herbicides in France, farming and making wine without adding anything. They’re really organic and then some but one has no way of knowing without sometimes significant research. I hope to make a trip to Bordeaux when this all ends and I’ll definitely visit them. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Lynn Post author

      You hit that on the head Ann! One really has to do their homework, or have very knowledgeable wine staff to know. Let me know when you make a trip, happy to assist in any way, cheers!

      Reply
  3. Lynda

    I love bubbles and try to only drink “clean” wine. Do you know if either of these wines are in the US?

    Reply
    1. Lynn Post author

      Not at this time but they are looking for an importer. Keep your fingers crossed and check back in a while. I will update with that information once they secure a relationship.

      Reply

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