Fabien Jouves 'Haut Berba' 2020
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Press 4 Mix/White • September 2023 Direct Press Selection
Fabien Jouves is a bit of a wild man. He certainly has earned the title 'Bacchus of Cahors' that French newspaper Le Monde gave him a few years back. I can't really share most of the stories I've heard, but he's a rowdy guy. Despite this, he is immensely serious about wine and is very outspoken about the outdated rules of his home AOC. When Cahors was created in 1971, it focused on the internationally popular Malbec at the exclusion of many other historic grapes. Fabien pulls no punches, as he is known for a cuvée called 'You F*%# My Wine?' that is declassified Cahors because of the use of Jurançon Noir, a local red grape not permitted by the AOC.
'Haut Berba' is declassified for a different reason. He decided to purchase Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng from a friend in Jurançon, about 3 hours away. This is his version of what he thought a Jurançon wine could taste like, with zero sulfur— and what a slamming way to meet Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng if you never have! Haut Berba is a bretty iteration of layered notes: hard cheese, warm bread, passion fruit, balsamic dressing, and burrata. A perfect cheese and charcuterie board bottle, with a little mousse on the palate and a finish that hangs out on the taste buds for quite some time. A biodynamic tour de force. Jonathan Kemp & Demi Elder