Liber Pater - Bordeaux, France
The god of wine, the wine of god, is how Loïc Pasquet, the owner and winemaker of Liber Pater describes his wines. His mission and purpose of life is to let us, wine lovers, collectors, consumers in general to taste the wine of "once upon a time, before a bug attacked most of the European vines, end of 1800-1920 - the pest Phylloxera. Full of conviction, knowledge, and experience, Liber Pater has its unique place in Bordeaux. The price of his bottles creates to some extent a level of agitation and lots of tension within the community of the winemakers in Bordeaux.
In the heart of Graves (the word "Graves" French word that explains the soil of the region, clastic rocks were formed in Bordelaise during the Tertiary, Quaternary period, composed of sand, silt and clay) and because of the composition of the soil, the insect Phylloxera, native to North America, this particular area where Liber Pater is located (Landiras), the vines survived. So there was no need to graft the vines into American Rootstock. So his vines are authentic and they are called "Franc de Pied".
There are infinite articles about Liber Pater and Loïc, but their narratives are all similar, hence I found the need to narrow my research. The most interesting blog article is from ledomduvin.com, written by French sommelier in Hong Kong, Dominique Noël. The article though is pretty specific. The study of soil and geography is explained in depth.
As I haven't had the privilege to taste his wines, due to an overwhelming demand of his MasterClass, I would like to keep my article short and show you what I know so far.
Liber Pater was introduced to me by Best Sommelier UK 2018 and Head Sommelier of Hide, Julien Sarrisin when I had my lunch at Hide in Mayfair. Since then, I am determined to understand his concept and wine.
Still at "beginner" phase. I was able to sense the aromas from his glass, indeed it does not smell anything like a wine from Bordeaux.
Here is a short video I was able to take from the back of the classroom. His French charm is all over in his accent. What he said was "if you don't recognize Cabernet Sauvignon, it is a good sign".
Loïc believes and almost "preaches" the soil of his vineyard. It is all about how the wine can translate the terroir of Liber Pater, it is not about the grape, but the soil and so I capture his message through the book "Le goût retrouvé du vin de Bordeaux";
The most frequent aroma is "violet". The body has to be composed of sap, flattering, unctuous from its roots, heat and revel the minerals of the soil/terroir. A velvety, long, silky, prestigious grands vins, this complex definition does not describe the "vanilla" or "box of cigars" that most of the wine critics use to describe a glass of aged fine wine.
Loïc and his Spanish mule. You can purchase the book on Amazon, my apologies, but I wasn't able to find the book in english. The book is very technical, targeted to winemakers and viticulturist.
So his philosophy is confirmed by this short post/comment on his Instagram account.
In addition to terroir, he matures the wine in amphoras, that come from Italy.
I am giving myself time to do some further research until I will be able to taste his wines and eventually interview Loïc myself.
Book "Le goût retrouvé du vin de Bordeaux" -Jacky Rivaux and Jean Rosen.
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Author: Susana Kawai @ Food with Susi