CLAIRE AND FLORENT BEJON
Les Bournais 2019
From a remote, one hectare parcel of Cabernet Franc planted over clay and limestone in Ligré, where the vines are fifty years old. This sees the longest maceration of any of their cuvées and after three months macerating as whole bunches, it was pressed to terracotta amphorae for a year of élevage. Compact and elegant, there is a fullness to the fruit here that is incredibly appealing, while neat tannins and a tightrope balance suggest a long life ahead.
ABOUT THE PRODUCER
For the past few years Claire and Florent Bejon have quietly gone about making some of the best wines in all of the Loire from a little cave in the village of Saint-Germain-sur-Vienne.
Although the two have been growing grapes and producing wine for the past two decades, until recent years their production was tiny and the wines almost impossible to find. Florent spent the past few decades working travelling around the region helping other vignerons bottle their wines without additives and his work led to him meeting influential figures such as Mark Angeli, who instilled a passion for sustainable agriculture and a search for purity in wine.
Claire and Florent now farm a total of five hectares of vines spread amongst tiny parcels on either bank of the Vienne just to the west of Chinon. The vines are on average fifty years old and planted over complex and varied soils made up of clay, limestone and a large amount of silex, lending the wines structure and minerality. The majority of the vines are planted with Cabernet Franc, but they also farm a little over half a hectare of Chenin Blanc, producing tiny quantities of what is one of our favourite expressions of the grape.
All work in the vineyard is done organically and by hand and now each of the parcels has a healthy ecosystem, they prefer to let nature find harmony and rarely trim the shoots, flowers and weeds that grow between the vines. The wines are made in an old cellar dug into the tuffeaux and here the Bejons display a real lightness of touch, with an emphasis on long, gentle macerations and a proper élevage in a mix of old casks, demijohns and earthenware jars.
Built on a backbone of pristine fruit their wines are striking in their delicacy, purity and perfume and represent a real find.