Bordeaux' Natural Wine Renaissance: Closerie des Moussis

Bordeaux' Natural Wine Renaissance: Closerie des Moussis

Natural Bordeaux is Traditional Bordeaux: Closerie des Moussis is one of a few producers are looking backward, way back, and making natural wines like Bordeaux might have made generations ago

Bordeaux is massive. It produces nearly a billion (!!!) bottles a year, and accounts for 15% of all the wine made in France.

So it's easy to see how a movement towards small-scale, sustainable winemaking — one which harkens back to the traditions of centuries past — could go practically unnoticed by the market at large. 

But the movement is happening, and it's a most welcome – and exciting – development. Just look at Closerie des Moussis, friends and neighbors of Clos du Jaugueyron's Michel Theron.

Like their similarly-minded peers, including Jaugueyron and Château Massereau,  Closerie des Moussis works on a small scale, producing pure, terroir-driven wines with minimal oak influence, from sustainably farmed vines. Historically, lots of Bordeaux was made this way. Before the wars, nobody used extensive chemical inputs or mechanical manipulations; all wine was natural wine. And outside of the top Grand Chateaux, nobody had the budget for a large percentage of new oak year after year.

Although Moussis is a sort of old school producer, it is a relatively new domaine, founded in 2009 by Pascale Choime and Laurence Alias. They started out renting various small parcels in the lower Haut-Médoc before finally getting some land of their own. They still rent a little, and they also buy grapes for certain cuvées. But everything they make is at least organically farmed, and usually biodynamic, too.

The 'Moussis' style is a bit more pure and juicy than is typical for Bordeaux. Pascale and Laurence harvest to preserve acidities and each cuvée undulates with a floral, racy energy – rather than pursuing all-out ripeness.

That said, there's still a nicely wide range of tastes in their lineup, from gluggable 'vin-de-soif' to the more classical and age-worthy.

One thing that's true of all Moussis' wines: there's hardly any quantity. We are very fortunate to have enough (just!) to put it online. But when it's gone, it will be gone. So if you're interested in checking out this delicious old school/new school grower, please don't wait to click through below and order some bottles!