Producer Profile: One of the best ways to understand the driving ethos of Farid Yahimi’s Alsatian project ‘Sons of Wine’ is to take him at his word. Here he is on his cellar work:
“We do nothing, period. We do the best we can. Vintages are always different. You can see people making wine for 30 years with biodynamic vineyards for a long time having a lot of troubles in the cellar when others are making wine for 2 years with organic vineyards in conversion and everything goes smoothly in the cellar. There is no certainty and cellar work is firstly humility. When it goes wrong, you just take a Kleenex. I might be lucky, but I’m not throwing out a lot of wine every year… I just wait and very often it works out.”
You get the sense of the hands-off approach, certainly, but maybe more so you see the ability to be patient. These wines certainly bear the mark of ease, or rather, that they are not forced or gnarly; that they are not imposing or imposed-upon. They really do taste easygoing, somehow. Farid was born and raised in Nancy where he was a digital communications professional for years before a family connection (his cousin) introduced him to the world of natural wine. Ever since, it’s been an education on his feet, refusing to go to oenology school and preferring to learn by practicing with some of the best (Lapierre, Overnoy, Puzelat, Binner). For a while – ergo the quote above – the wines he was trying to make in a small cellar in Alsace from purchased fruit from his friends, were wild & sometimes rough (“the occasional batch of vinegar”). But they got better with each year. Until 2017, in fact, the wines were simply for him and his fellow winemakers in the area to enjoy at home. But quality pushed the project beyond the purely home-spun and home-consumed: he owns 2 hectares in Alsace from which he crafts a small portion of his range. The rest is purchased fruit from friends – a “human adventure” – all over the world. The wines, better every year, show maybe more than any others the human relationships as transparently as the vinous ones, so, without further ado: Microbio’s Castilla y Leon Verdejo vinified by Sons of Wine in Alsace.
Vinification & Tasting Notes: 100% Verdejo, purchased from Spanish winemaker Microbio. The grapes are transferred back to the winemaking facility of Christian Binner in Alsace, where they are crushed and briefly macerated on the skins. Fermented with wild yeasts and bottled just before fermentation completes to allow the effervescence to form in the bottle. Ripe apricot, sharp acidity and a crisp bubble. Wildly refreshing.