A Wine That
is the more grown up version of its little sister, Les Cocottes, with the same gorgeous berry profile of raspberries, cranberries and redcurrants, but with a little more bite - a little more grip. It's a wine that inspires conversation; a wine that makes you continually swirl your glass as you ponder on the questions that arise. As Anne-Sophie says, she sees her job as an Alchemist: creating something from emotion - something magical.
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- Winemaker: Anne-Sophie Dubois
Where and How?
Gamay from the Fleurie Cru in Beaujolais. A blend of old and young vines, this is the always the wine of Anne-Sophie's that she feels is a little more serious with the potential to age.
This cuvée and Les Cocottes are treated exactly the same: both hand harvested and all the bunches are sorted in the vineyard and put into tiny cases so that the skins of the berries aren’t broken, to make sure the first juice has no oxidation. The wine is whole bunch fermented, carbonic style. Once the fermentation is underway, Anne-Sophie decides to macerate one batch for a shorter amount of time, which becomes the easygoing Les Cocottes cuvée. The other has a slightly more extended maceration period to become a more structured version, which is this cuvée - L'Alchimiste - which is then also aged for longer - and bottled the next summer.
Anne-Sophie grew up in a small village in Champagne, where her mother and father were grape growers, but never winemakers. Her family had the chance to purchase some land in Fleurie, in Beaujolais, when she was little. After having done winemaking internships in Champagne, she moved to Burgundy to study, interning at the same time in Volnay. It was here that she discovered her love for viticulture. She remembers,
“When I first started working in the vines, I said to myself… There's another dimension here. It’s not just about producing a kilo of grapes. You observe a plant, you observe the ongoings of the year, you observe the wine that follows.” She pauses, then smiles and continues, “when you've experienced that, you can't go back. It's as if you're a caged animal who has been outside, roaming the grass for the first time. Why would you want to go back inside?"
She moved to Beaujolais shortly after, to pursue farming the vineyards which her family had bought when she was little. Here, her vines sit at the top of the Fleurie Cru, at 400m, which in times of global warming means her wines always have freshness. All of her eight hectares sit on the same plot, and she has no neighbours. This is important to her:
“I have my own ecosystem, my neighbours are far away. Once, I rented a plot in Moulin-à-Vent, that was surrounded by neighbours who farmed chemically. I tried for three years to make wine from that plot but I never succeeded in making something I was happy with. That’s when I truly realised the importance of creating your own ecosystem, and how that translates into your wine. It’s incredibly hard for people who have plots surrounded by neighbours whose farming philosophies you don’t share.”