The city of Bordeaux is conservative, stately, elegant. And so are its greatest wines. But if you drink more Juliénas than St. Julien, you may also find them unapproachable, not exactly fun-loving. Sure, they’re among history’s finest wines when properly aged. But we can’t all wait! There’s another kind of Bordeaux blossoming at the region’s edges. They have a lot in common with the likes of Pfifferling, Métras, Allemand. They’re fresher. Less technological, more traditional. They don’t try to be baby versions of the First Growths, because they’d rather be direct expressions of Bordeaux’s varied and worthy terroir. Closeries des Moussis is a teensy artisanal estate created by Laurence and Pascale, who are chums with the Jaugeyron family. The domaines have a lot in common: biodynamic farming, large old oak (rather than new barriques) and, most of all, a fresh, transparent style. The wines are true to their historic Médoc terroir, yet pure, utterly delicious, and accessible. Practices like using only a little sulfur, eschewing new oak, and going easy on the tannin extraction means the gravelly fruit notes shine with brilliant definition—even in youth. Other parts are a bit more speculative. Many think biodynamic farming helps grapes to ripen the bits that give flavor and texture (phenolic ripeness) while raising sugar levels more slowly. Maybe the natural yeasts or healthier soils contribute to the transmission of terroir. Maybe the lunar cycles make a difference.
Muscadelle , Sauvignon Blanc