Alexandre Bain, 2014 Update

Although the Loire Valley is a hotbed of organic, biodynamic and ‘natural’ viticulture and winemaking, these philosophies have not been established as firmly in Pouilly-Fumé as they have in other appellations. Indeed, only Alexandre Bain (pictured below) really stands out, although I can think of several biodynamic domaines in Sancerre, and of course there are more domaines following one or other of these philosophies than you can count once you get as far downriver as Touraine and Anjou, especially the latter.

Alexandre Bain

New Developments

I have met up and tasted with Alexandre twice this year, and so I was interested to hear what developments and progress he has made in that time with this very young domaine, which he established in 2007. Those familiar with Alexandre’s work, or that of his good friend Sébastien Riffault, will perhaps not be surprised to learn that Alexandre is trying to move away from a dependence on the tractor in the vineyard. He has succeeded in the vineyard from which the cuvée Spring originates. The soil here is limon, a word which often crops up in discussions of terroir and viticulture with French vignerons and which is difficult to translate. In essence, limon is a soil of particles that sit somewhere between the very fine grains that are the basis of clay (less than 2 micrometres) and sand, in which the particles are much larger (greater than 60 micrometres). So you could think of it as very fine, dusty sand, and it can be windblown (aeolian sands, such as large stretches of the sandy plains around St Emilion) or alluvial (which describes numerous deposits along the Loire).

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