New Producer, Domaine Alexandre Bain, Bois Fleury, Tracy-sur-Loire

2007 was Alexandre Bain's first vintage. We met with him last February, visited the estate this past summer, and have our first shipment arriving soon.

After many years working for different estates, Alexandre Bain managed to start his own estate in 2007, by renting 4.90HA of vines in the Pouilly Fumé area, where he is from. In a few years, he’s is going to get 5.80HA of vines from his parents, and he’d like to end up with about 13HA of vines.

Most of Bain’s vines grow on a Portlandian limestone subsoil (135 million years), with very shallow and poor topsoil,very stony: a warm terrain where grapes ripen well. Almost 2 HA are on Kimmeridgian lime (140 million years, a type of marl with small compressed oysters), with richer clay as a topsoil. Although these plots are harder to work, they bring the wine its structure.

Bain works his land organically and bio-dynamically and plows most of it with a horse. This has been particularly useful for his two first summers, which were quite wet: it is difficult, sometimes dangerous and always detrimental to the soil to use tractors on soaked earth. His goals are to grow his crop cleanly, make real and healthy wines, and also create a circle of all people involved in his efforts, vine-workers, suppliers and buyers.

The 2007 crop was vinified in a garage, and now Bain has built a functional and spacious facility to work comfortably and to his specifications. There is no oenological additives in the cellar, except for SO2, which is used sparingly in order to block the malolactic fermentation and before bottling. In 2007, Bain made two cuvées: the biggest portion was vinified partly in neutral vats and partly in older oak barrels; the second, much smaller cuvée, all in barrels, will be aged until spring 2009 and called Mademoiselle M (in honor of his daughter, Madeleine, born in 2007.)

- Joe Dressner 10-02-2008 9:01 pm