Fabien Jouves, Cahors, South West France
Fabien will be in LA on September 4-5 and SF on September 6-7
Please contact your sales rep to schedule an appointment to taste his wines while he is in town.
Fabien Jouves is the mastermind of the wine that has the Best. Name. Ever. More on that later.
Born into a family that has a long history of winemaking, Jouves originally intended to break ranks and become a doctor. That was before his parents, who made wine but sold it off in bulk, were about to pull the plug as the effort was too costly. Instead of pursuing medicine, he enrolled in the prestigious Ecole du Vin de Bordeaux and made a two and a half hour trek to Cahors to help his parents out on weekends.
Many aspiring winemakers work under experienced vignerons before going off on their own or find winemaking jobs with established producers but not Jouves. Upon graduation, he took over the family vineyards and embarked on the path to make organic and biodynamic wines that would turn Cahors on its head.
He began the arduous process of converting the land, all 22 hectares (50 acres) of it, to conform to organic and biodynamic standards in 2004. Jouves may not have become a physician but his work in the vineyards required a lot of healing to rejuvenate the soil and create a healthy, biologically diverse environment. His first vintage was in 2006 and 2012 will mark Mas de Perié’s first vintage as a certified organic and biodynamic producer.
Located in the Causses, (literally meaning limestone plateaus), Jouves’ land sits atop the hills of Quercy at over 360 meters (1100 feet). In addition to his family’s holdings, he purchased two other pieces of property. The daytime temperatures during the growing season are usually in the mid 80’s but at night they dip about 25 degrees, helping the grapes maintain a good balance of fruit and acid. Fortunate enough to have a range of soil types to work with, Jouves has been able to realize his dream and make distinct, authentic wines.
Stylistically, they are expressive but not rustic. He makes four wines under the Cahors AOC, each from a different plot. While the AOC allows for up to 30% of Tannat or Merlot, Jouves’ Cahors are composed entirely of Malbec. All of his fruit is harvested by hand and the wines are vinified separately with natural yeast. A combination of stainless steel, concrete and barrel fermentation is used, depending on the cuvee. The wines are aged on the lees for up to 24 months. Little to no sulfur is added and the wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Caravan 2012 buyer trip last May
Besides the four Cahors, Jouves makes two vin de pays wines from Malbec that are called ‘Côté Fruité,’ of which one is a rosé, and three others that go off the deep end: ‘Cochon de Dieu,’ ‘Tu Vin Plus Aux Soirées’ and ‘You Fuck My Wine?’
NOW WE’RE GETTING TO THE GOOD PART
Literally, ‘cochon de dieu’ means ‘pig of a god,’ the French equivalent of saying ‘oh my lord,’ and not in a religious context. It is 100% Gamay. ‘Tu vin plus aux soirées’ comes from a French pun, ‘tu viens plus aux soirées,’ an expression that means ‘you are not partying with us anymore.’ This is a 50/50 blend of Tannat and Cabernet Franc.
Saving the best for last, ‘You Fuck My Wine?’ is a play on a line from the movie Taxi Driver. Composed entirely of Jurançon Noir, it is persona non grata, at least as far as the Cahors AOC is concerned, hence the name with a question mark. Jouves explains, “It is a question because I don’t understand why the people of AOC Cahors destroy this beautiful grape.” Taking the names of these three wines in that sequence, there is no doubt that Mr. Jouves is getting his point across.
Natural winemaking does not guarantee quality and irreverent names hardly means the wines are going to be interesting but Fabien Jouves satisfies both of these demands. Now, at the tender age of 27, he has already played a prominent role in the resurgence of Cahors. He is part of the vanguard of young winemakers who saw this beloved grape become Argentina’s claim to fame and want it back. In just a few years, Jouves has garnered a lot of respect from his elders in the region and we are thrilled to introduce him to our portfolio.
Mas de Périé Cahors AOC, ‘Les Escures,’ 2010
Les Escures is made from white clay and limestone soils. While this is the youngest of Jouves’ Cahors, the vines are 25 years old. It was fermented in stainless steel vats for 30 days and then transferred to concrete tank for six months. Textbook Cahors less the rusticity, it has juicy deep plum and black currant fruit, with smoke, cocoa and licorice on both the nose and the palate. Moderately tannic it is perfect with grilled meats and Southwest French cuisine.
Mas de Périé Cahors AOC, ‘La Roque,’ 2010
La Roque is a 30-year-old vineyard with rocky, clay limestone soil. Fermented in stainless steel vats, 50% went on to be aged in barrels while the remaining half was aged in concrete.
‘Mas de Périé, You Fuck My Wine?’ VdP, 2010
Jurançon Noir is an old grape that used to be widespread in Cahors. Until 1992, it was permitted in the AOC. A natural cross of Folle Blanches, a white grape, and Malbec, it makes light-bodied, pale colored and highly acidic wines. Ten years ago, grapes with these characteristics were hardly en vogue but happily, the fashion has changed and light-bodied, tart wines are all the rage. After a ten-day maceration period, ‘You Fuck My Wine?’ contemplated this question for six months in barrel and was bottled with minimal sulfites.