Vincent and Stéphanie in the vines

The debut of Deboutbertin

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Article by Eben Lillie. All photos by Isaac Rosenthal (web: ikesight.com / Instagram: ikesite)

Here at Chambers Street, our love for the Loire Valley is well documented, and we’re happy to know that winemakers we have been championing over the years have become household names amongst those who search for honest, terroir driven wine. Thankfully, the Loire continues to be the home to waves of new winemakers who are consistently choosing to work in a ‘natural’ way, without use of pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers in the vineyard or manipulation in the cellar, instead focusing on careful vineyard work, and non-internvention (whenever possible) during vinification. Today we’re happy to introduce the wines of Stéphanie and Vincent Deboutbertin, who have been working with this approach since they began their small project in 2012, and are now quietly and humbly crafting a lineup of vibrant and distinct wines (all without sulfur added!). Though we don’t have large quantities to offer, we are excited to share their wines and their story with you!

As the story goes, Stéphanie and Vincent were biking through the Loire one fateful summer and they happened to stop in the city of Angers during their trip. They tried a natural wine at a local wine bar, and were instantly hooked. Soon after, they settled in the Loire and began to train with winemakers in the area, apprenticing with the likes of Cyril Lemoing, Olivier Cousin, Jean-Francois Chené (La Coulée d’Ambrosia), and Domaine Les Roches Seches, before embarking on their own adventure making wine from small parcels in Faye d’Anjou and Beaulieu sur Layon.

Anatole the horse, who hails from Normandy. He's the only extra help they hire, and he's conveniently paid in apples. While apprenticing with Olivier Cousin, Vincent was introduced to working with horses in the vineyard, and enoyed it, so they found Anatole, and have now even acquired a second horse to keep him company. 

I had the great pleasure to visit Stéphanie and Vincent last May and see for myself how much passion, dedication and joy they have for the work in the vineyards and the cellar. For what may be my favorite vineyard tour ever, Vincent pulled multiple bicycles out of a shed and we biked from parcel to parcel, stopping to observe the soil, the vines and the biodiversity in the vineyards. They divide their work between different parcels and there is an inspiring amount of pride that they have in the health, beauty and well being of their vines. Their chai – where they make the wine – is essentially a garage, though it is carefully insulated and seems to provide ample space for their tiny manual press and the small congregation of barrels. When discussing their techniques during winemaking, I could tell they were genuinely enthusiastic and again, proud, of their hard work and the delicious results. It was obvious that these were people who love what they do and do what they love.

Vincent and Stéphanie in the chai

 

As technical details go, I will refer to their well worded description of their approach and philosophy:

“The grapes are sorted in the parcels, harvested by hand, and transported in small perforated crates, then are put into a vertical press over a period of 24 hours. For the white wines, juice is poured directly into barrel, without racking. For the reds, the grapes are poured, whole cluster, into maceration tanks where they are typically foot stomped. Depending on the vintage, maceration can be between 8-15 days, typically with daily pigeage (punch down). All fermentations are with indigenous yeast, and juice is moved by gravity. The wines are aged 12 months on the lees in 3 – 5 year old barrels, without intervention, except for regular topping up. They are then bottled without filtration and without sulfur. All of our wines are made without additives. In the vineyards, everything is done by hand, except for plowing, which is done by our horse, Anatole.”   

Vincent, Stéphanie, and Eben hope you enjoy the wines. Cheers!

Deboutbertin 2014 Vin de France Achillée

Deboutbertin is Stéphanie Debout and Vincent Bertin, with 4 hectares of vines around Faye d'Anjou and Beaulieu. Vineyard work is all done by hand or with their horse, Anatole. Vinifications are with wild yeasts, aging is in 3+ year-old barrels, bottling is without filtration or added sulfur - 100% jus de raisin! Yields for the 2014 Achillée were 16hl/ha. Opaque pale bronze color, aromas of dried apple and pear, a bit of brown spice, dried flowers, lemon oil and caramel. Intense earth, citrus, stone and dried pear on the palate with citrusy acids in the long finish.  This is a lovey natural wine - it's a pleasure to drink a Chenin Blanc with no added SO2. Serve with any light fish or chicken dish, charcuterie and mild cheeses. David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $18.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Deboutbertin 2014 Vin de France Pacotille

This is the more crystalline of the Deboutbertin whites, which they attribute to the age of the vineyards (Pacotille vines were planted in the early 70's, while Achilée are from the late 80's), and the fact that the Pacotille vineyard is south facing slope, while Achilée is on a plateau. This parcel is all of one acre, and because of careful selection and sorting, yields are very low, at 15hl/ha. There's plenty of stone fruit here, great acidity, and beautiful density and texture to the wine as well. Decant and enjoy! (max 2 bottles per customer) Eben Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $21.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Deboutbertin 2014 Vin de France Baliverne

Grolleau! It's all the rage in the Loire. This offering from Deboutbertin is from a parcel on Schiste and sandstone, from vines that were planted in 1950. The vineyard is tiny, at 25 ares (note, 25 ares is just a bit more than a half-acre), and yields are quite low, at about 20hl/ha. It's gamey on the nose, with plenty of the vibrant fruit that we associate with Grolleau, and though it's dark and supple, at 10.5% alcohol, it's also super easy to drink! Serve with a slight chill.  Eben Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur