Bascule is the name of the project taken on by one of the pioneers of natural wine in New York – only, for the longest time it was pioneering the popularization of natural wine, not making it. Fifi, you’ll no doubt know the label, started his importer/distributorship years ago while also running the legendary natural wine shop “Passage de La Fleur” in the space that is now Vanderbilt Wine Merchants. In any case, after taking a step back from importership/distribution, Fifi has sought the other end of the wine equation: making some himself! Teaming up with his friends at the Roussillon’s Domaine Leonine, Fifi purchases grapes in the classic négociant setup & vinifies with what Steven Graf (who now holds the reins to the importership/distributorship) calls “a touch of bombast from the firebrand himself.” It’s true: the wines are reminiscent of the Leonine bottles, but they do carry a bit of flair and intensity that takes them in a slightly different direction. In this bottling, you get an absolutely beautiful & pure & austere take on a grape that is so often known for flabby overripeness and pure texture; this is lively Viognier seen through the lens of someone who wants you to love the grape as much as they seem to.
100% Viognier. After a hand harvest, the grapes are direct pressed into stainless steel and fermented with wild yeasts. Over the winter, the wine is aged in old wood before being bottled unfined, unfiltered, with no SO2. Drinking this brings to mind lemon custard and juicy pineapples. Round and bright, with ample tropical fruit and acidity.