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Henri Chauvet

Henri Chauvet, "A l'Aube…" 2021

Henri Chauvet, "A l'Aube…" 2021

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The Details

Auvergne, France. Gamay, Pinot Noir & Chardonnay, co-fermented whole cluster with native yeasts and aged in used barrels for one year. Unfined, unfiltered, no SO2.

As a region whose modern history has been more so relegated to the role of geographic connective tissue between the ostensibly more vaunted wine areas of France, the Auvergne is a natural home for pioneering and trailblazing, constituting a burning frontier for those trying to stitch their own patch in the broader tapestry of vin naturel. From Patrick Boujou of Domaine La Bohéme to Vincent & Marie Tricot of Orcet to Vincent Marie in Volvic, Aurelien Lefort’s paintings in a bottle from Madriat, or Jean Maupertuis’ wines that are so light they could float on air – the Auvergne seems to serve as both a literal and imaginative canvas on which the stakes of natural wine may be explored in a freer way than perhaps elsewhere in France. In this land that represents a kind of topographical heartland of France, with dormant volcanoes and lava domes from ancient flows of magma, another new voice has entered the fray.
Henri Chauvet has taken over the estate of Annie Sauvat in Boudes, an important winegrowing village in the Auvergne that is near to the heart of the region itself, located within what’s known as the Puy-de-Dome. Clocking in at 10.5 hectares, the land was planted to vine from scratch in the 1970s by Claude Sauvat and ever since had become a kind of hallmark of viticultural endeavor, engaged in the same kind of recuperation of history that many natural winemakers seek; Auvergne (and indeed Boudes) was a long flourishing winegrowing region from time (Roman) immemorial until the phylloxera blight of the late 19th century. The place is made for the vine, it seems – indeed, several specific strains of otherwise well-known names of grape variety have their own histories & personalities here, none more famous than the Gamay d’Auvergne that is quite distinct from the Gamays grown elsewhere in France, be it the Beaujolais or Loire. It is this vineyard on steep slopes of basaltic clays and quartz, subsoils of limestone, and even outcroppings of blue marl that defines the project before Henri Chauvet – to help return voice to this slumbering giant of a winegrowing region. And, merely 2 vintages in (this one we have in, his first), he is well on his way, enjoining the collective of natural growers already engaged in all this; having apprenticed with Thierry Allemand and Jerome Bressy, Henri brings a fresh point of view paired with hard-won study to the Auvergne. On the high-elevation hillsides that face south looking over the red-roofed village of Boudes – at times low-hanging clouds meandering through the Couzilloux Valley highlight the drama of the landscape – Henri Chauvet’s fulfilling his own, painstaking dream, one parcel at a time.

More from Henri Chauvet

  • "Curated wines from small producers"

  • Additive free wines made in accordance with nature

  • Available for shipping, delivery or pickup

  • Serving natural wine lovers since 2006

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