Doug Decants ~ The Wines of Domaine Des 4 Vents, Bordeaux

Gentle winds of change in Bordeaux

M’lud. All the cynical cracks made about trad Bordeaux and the culture of conservatism may be partially retracted. Whisper it not, but there are faint stirrings of natty wine doings.

Antoine and Julie Debiastre met at a winemaking school. After they obtained their degrees, they both worked in different parts of the France and in other countries before returning to Bordeaux where they decided to make their own wine. They took over a vineyard in early 2020, immediately starting the conversion to organic farming. This is a lease with “Terre de Liens”, an association which helps a new generation of farmers to access land already worked organically or with the desire to restore it to organic agriculture.

© Domaine Des 4 Vents

The domaine is planted on two types of terroirs – a relatively shallow plateau of clay and limestone, which gives very concentrated grapes rich in tannins, and a valley where the soils are composed of blue clay soils which produces grapes with both greater freshness and depth.

The wines now come from organic certified grapes. The plots were planted between the 1960-1990 and the vineyard area comprises 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. The Debiastres preserve biodiversity as much as possible by turning over the soil under the vines, light mowing between the rows, winter grazing with sheep, and planting of hedges and fruit trees.

All wines from the domaine are named after a wind – Hégoa is a name of the wind in the Basque Country. Grapes for this cuvée are harvested, destemmed, and given a swift maceration of five days before spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeast. The wine is aged in sandstone amphora for six months before bottling without filtration or fining and only a tiny quantity of sulphites added. Brilliant ruby colour with an inviting nose with aromas of red fruits and black fruits. The palate is ample with aromas of small red fruits accompanied by a nice tension.

Alizes (designation Puisseguin Saint-Emilion) is 60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc is aged in concrete vats for 8 months. Naturally made with tiny amounts of sulphur at key moments – vatting, after malolactic fermentation and bottling. Red and black fruit aromas dominate the bouquet followed by slightly spicy notes. In the mouth, the attack is crunchy with fine tension followed by a warm and silky midpalate. The finish is long, with a recurrence of those spicy notes. “Les Alizés” is the prevailing wind blowing off the Atlantic Ocean.

2022 Vin de France “Hegoa”

2020 Puisseguin Saint-Emilion “Alizes”

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