There is no doubt that the natural wine movement has come of age in the Loire Valley, thanks in part to the work of Sébastien Bobinet and his partner, Eméline Calvez. Domaine Bobinet started in 2002, when Sebastien took over 1.8 hectares of vines and the cellar from his grandparents. He’s the 7th generation of a family of winemakers in the Saumur region of the Loire Valley. Sebastian has long been regarded as a star of the region, having worked with the likes of Olivier Cousin, the Foucoult Brothers of Clos Rougeard and Beaujolais forefather Jules Chauvet. It is however since 2011 when Emeline, a talent in her own right joined the domaine that Bobinets cult status has been cemented.
In addition to their winemaking talents the pair have been campaigning hard for better viticultural practices in the region. So in an effort to improve the biodiversity of the vineyards, they have helped to engage and unite the local wine community to name Saumur-Champigny as the first AOC in France to collectively decide on the reduction of chemical treatments.
The Domaine consists of a mere 2 hectares of old-vine Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc, vineyards inherited from his grandfather. As well as their own vineyard they source small amounts of Gamay, Cot and Pinot D’Aunis from neighbouring organic vineyards. This progressive young duo are still staunch traditionalists at heart, preferring to work their limestone and clay soils with the help of a horse-drawn plow. Everything is done by hand in a truly non-interventionist approach. Certain cuvees, such as “Hanami” undergo semi-carbonic maceration. The wines age in 330 litre oak barrels for up to 18 months in the domaine’s caves, carved into the limestone riverbanks of Saumur. Without any addition of sulphur, they bottle their wines unfined and unfiltered to allow the final product to express heightened aromatics and a stoney minerality characteristic of the Saumur terroir.
There is no doubt in their status as one of the most inspiring and influential young winemaking couples worldwide, we feel incredibly privileged to be bringing their wines to Australia and sharing their story with you.