Château Meylet – Michel et David Favard
As the world of wine in Bordeaux had (still has) a passion in the early nineties for these new oenological practices which help produce aromatic, concentrated, rich and seductive wines, Michel Favard took a different path, and he is today a major reference in the small world of natural wines in France.
In 1978, he took up the reins of a small family estate of less than 2 hectares in Saint-Emilion. Convinced of the benefits of organic farming, Michel converted his vineyard to biodynamics in 1987 (Don’t forget that at that time these people were literally taken for madmen). His encounters with pioneers Marcel Lapierre (Morgon) or Pierre Overnoy (Jura) strong advocates of natural and sincère wines, confirmed to him that it was possible to go one step further.
Making natural wines requires a lot more work and enormous amount of time in the vineyard, right up until the harvest when the fruits are perfectly ripe.
Michel Favard is certainly one of the most meticulous vignerons in France, the grapes are hand-harvested and are carefully sorted in order to retain only the ripest and healthiest ones. Vinifications are natural, no added sugars nor exogenous yeasts, no sulfites. The wines are neither fined nor filtered. Very low levels of SO2 at the bottling only when necessary.
Michel Favard’s approach is light-years away from current practices in Bordeaux, as far as i know he is the only natural vigneron in Saint-Emilion. Wines from Meylet are exquisitely soft, they are subtle and elegant, they don’t smell of shampoo nor vanilla.
They simply are the most natural expression of a grand (but misled) terroir.
Michel Favard is currently handing over to his son David, this is why the wines were renamed Esprit Meylet in 2010.