2018 Bainbridge and Cathcart Cuvée Rouge Aux Lèvres
Region: Loire Valley < France
Grapes: Grolleau Noir
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic, uses biodynamic treatments; 85-100 year-old vines; 3-week whole cluster semi-carbonic fermentation and aging in stainless steel; bottled, unfined/unfiltered, by hand, under crown cap with no added So2; zero-zero; 11.5% ABV
Winemaker: Toby Bainbridge
NEW VINTAGE ALERT!
Bainbridge & Cathcart is the natural wine project of British ex-pat Toby Bainbridge and wife Julie, a native Oklahoman. For years, Toby was one of the winemakers for famed Domaine Mosse in Anjou, where he learned to farm biodynamically. Now Toby is on his own and emerging as a leader in France’s exploding natural wine scene.
Grolleau Noir is only found at this end of the Loire, and is usually just a blending grape. Here the grapes undergo 3 weeks of whole bunch semi-carbonic maceration, which transforms the tough and rustic Grolleau into an entirely different creature altogether. Smooth and juicy with red berries, plums, black pepper and an interesting umami note, refreshing acid and chalky tannins, the Rouge Aux Lèvres has become our favorite everyday wine. And if you know Toby, that is exactly what he intended! He told us once that there are plenty of wines out there to think and ponder, and his are intentionally not those. So don’t overthink this bottle, just give it a light chill, then pop and enjoy the grapey goodness with glee. Wheeee!