Toby & Julie Bainbridge - 2021 - Rouge aux Levres
$30
Toby & Julie Bainbridge - 2021 - Rouge aux Levres

Grolleau

Anjou, Loire, France

Toby's an ex-pat from the UK, and Julie found him working on a harvest crew in Protection, Kansas. After a long courtship they have settled in Anjou with their two young children. In the early 2000s, Toby started working with Didier Chaffardon and the couple made their first wine in 2007, the same year they gave birth to their first son. In 2012, after a few years under the tutelage and employ of René Mosse, Toby and Julie went out on their own and started full-time production on their eponymous domaine. Approximately 6.5 hectares of their 8ha are currently under vine with drought resistant soil, rich in calcium. Toby and Julie really seem to be settling into their small, family estate, and it's beginning to feel very well oiled. Naturally, extra curricular activities are being worked in. The topic of much conversation and instagramming were Toby's new sheep -- a project he seems quite pleased with. "I've always wanted a passion outside of my profession -- a hobby," he told us, and maybe shepherding is going to be that fit. Of course, the sheep are really just another aspect of the viticulture. The sheep are essentially wooly lawnmowers that trim the herbs between the vines. Otherwise, there are plans for olive trees and fruit trees. All their vineyards are worked organically. They focus on wines for drinking: fresh, bright and natural. In the cellar, macerations are generally short and neutral vessels are always used, whether fiberglass or stainless steel. (Steven Graf)

Vines from the 1980s. Potentially some of the first Grolleau vines planted. Partial carbonic maceration for a couple of days with no punch down or top off.