Château La Haie – François Decombe
Bordeaux wines is an endless issue, from the classifications created in the nineteenth century by wine-brokers (not on a terroir basis, as in Burgundy, but only on considerations of supply and demand), to cultural or oenological practices, too often extremely dubious.
Not to mention the prices of these wines today, so ‘exclusive’ that they become obscene.
Who can afford these ‘premiers grands crus classés’ from the left and right banks of the Gironde ? Fortunately, there are some rebel natural producers able to provide sensitive and gently priced wines.
If you wander among cellars specialized in natural wines, though Bordelais is by far the largest domain in France, you may be surprised by the scarcity of the supply in Bordeaux.
This snobism is as ridiculous as the one boasted by some ‘châtelains Bordelais’ because a handful of wine growers does practice their profession without artifice and with the highest rigour, and far away from the wickedness of the new luxury industry so well described in Isabelle Saporta’s latest book, Vinobusiness.
Fan of horses, in a very peculiar milieu where without personal wealth it is very difficult to survive, François Decombe accepts to take over his uncle’s small domain of 15 acres on Côte de Blaye, the northernest area of Bordelais, on the right bank of the Gironde facing Médoc.
Convinced of the benefits of agrobiology and biodynamics, François quickly closes the door to synthetic products providers. Notwithstanding an incredulous environment he converts his vineyard in the early 2000’s, and is today fully involved in the Association des Vins Naturels.
Grapes are harvested at high maturity (sometimes 15 days after his neighbours).
Wines, reds as well as white, are grown with attentive softness, never enter in contact with wood (the ‘famous’ fourth cépage of Bordeaux you may have heard of), and sulphites doses are very inferior to the already severe prescriptions of the Association des Vins Naturels.
François Decombe’s wines are of an incomparable freshness and probity.
His domain is Bio Ecocert and Biodynamic Demeter certified.