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“The whims of youth break all the rules.”

– Homer.

Breaking the rules, that’s what the next generation is for!

This collection of wines is all about eschewing the restraints of the Appellation Controllée, the weight of family tradition, and the conventions of winemaking.

The Courselle sisters wanted a wine to drink with their friends in the wine bars of Bordeaux,  without the need for a hefty meal to soak up the tannins. Was their father delighted to see Vin de France on the label instead of the prestigious “Bordeaux”? Eh, no.

Likewise when the Orliac siblings wanted to make a lighter, simpler wine than their wonderful Bergerie de L’Hortus,  their father said “you have allowed the wolf into the sheep pen”, fearing it would ruin their reputation. It didn’t,  and he inadvertently gave the wine its name –  Le Loup dans la Bergerie which means The Wolf in the Sheep Pen.

Father and son team Luc and Jean-Yves Lapeyre make rich, melodious wines from Minervois. The addition of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon to the blend, and a short maceration, gives a very different result, juicy and fruity but outside the boundaries of the AOC.  A ‘drinking wine’ that goes down easily without needing the accompaniment of Luc’s famous cassoulet.

Anne and Jean Lignieres don’t do convention. André, Jean’s Dad, now in his nineties, still frowns on their biodynamic carry-on. Wasn’t it a perfectly good business when they farmed conventionally? Many of their wines from Corbieres are labelled ‘Vin de France’ because they believe in making fantastic wine more than obeying the rules. Red wine to go with fish or goat’s cheese?  Juste Le Rouge is your only man, which happily,  André actually loves.

On S’En Fiche‘ is a colloquial phrase from the south of France meaning ‘we don’t care. This does not reflect the Gardies family’s attitude to winemaking,  only their feelings about convention. This light red, perfect with grilled fish, from an area known for full-blooded reds, is playfully called ‘On S’en Fish’, telling us all we need to know.

Marine and Paul Charavin, conversely, are following in the footsteps of their father, Robert, who made the bold move into biodynamic farming many years ago. Robert is the rebel here, and his grown-up kids hope they can carry on his vision. This wine is designed to be mischievous and jolly,  and of course,  chilled. I think the future is in good hands!

*Le Loup dans la Bergerie means The Wolf in the Sheep pen