They started from scratch. ‘Freestyle’, says Ford, ‘No Plan B.’ Even Plan A was a little haphazard. Vincent was from the Loire and homesick, so he insisted on planting Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc (in Malepère – Merlot country). They’ve planted Macabeu, made no-added-sulphur wine before it was trendy, ferment in eggs, barrels, tanks and anything else that comes to mind. Julia recently wrote about their nine-way Syrah experiment.
The white is usually a blend of varying proportions of Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Macabeu from seaside and mountain vineyards. It goes through spontaneous fermentation and is then matured in a mix of 500-litre barrels and concrete eggs. They pretty much leave the wine to do it’s own thing and about 70% goes through malo. It’s a perfumed, textured, bright wine with whistle-clean, shimmering acidity, creamy despite a mouth-watering citrus saltiness, and packed with deep fruit. Alcohol is a refined 12.5%.