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Le Grangeon de Mano, Chardonnay

Le Grangeon de Mano, Chardonnay

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Jura, FR

Type, White

Grapes, Chardonnay

Alc. 14.3%

Year, 2018

Size, 750ml

Serving: cold (6–11°C)

About:  Bauer means farmer in German, it's a fitting name for someone who describes himself as a paysan-vigneron – Luc feels proud and honoured to perpetuate Bugey’s rich rural tradition which has been in steep decline through the 20th century. The name of the domaine is a reference to times gone-by when the natives’ main aspiration was to own a 'grangeon' (a stone building that housed all farming equipment and often a press) so they could work the land and make wine. There were many grangeons above Argis in 1905 when 100ha of vines were still recorded. And while it is impossible to change the course of history, Luc hopes that his efforts will inspire others to walk in the footsteps of previous generations.

Cartesian in nature, Luc likes to understand how things work so he was reticent when he first encountered the practices derived from Goethe and Steiner’s work. While he could see the positive effects of the various biodynamic preparations, not knowing why and how they worked was the source of frustration but he slowly gave in and accepted that certain things must for now remain a mystery. He follows the lunar calendar, and uses a variety of tisanes, 'purins' (liquid manure), and decoctions made with local plants to treat and stimulate the vines. To avoid soil compaction and improve its aeration and drainage, all the tasks are done either by hand or using a 'chenillard' (ultra-light crawler tractor).

Luc wants to make wines that express their terroir with clarity and precision. Most of the cuvées are the expression of a single grape on a single parcel, although he also experiments with blends for some of his reds. The grapes are harvested by hand and a pied de cuve (specific to each parcel) is made a couple of days prior for a strong start to fermentation. White varieties are slowly whole-bunch pressed and transferred to demi-muids as well as sandstone amphoras for vinification and ageing. 

Fermentation and 12-month ageing in a mix of sandstone amphoras, old barrels and demi-muids, followed by 6 months in cuve, the only addition of SO2 (10mg/l) occurs then, before bottling without filtration.