Dazzling Ardèche rouge from a tiny production of just 1200 bottles out of a couple of barrels in Pauline's tiny cellar beneath her home.
70% Grenache which after some time in tank rests for 9 months in demi-muid and 30% Syrah which has spent a full 18 months in smaller 'fût' barrels, both planted over sandy, decomposed granite. The result is a wine of stunningly deep, concentrated fruit, with the sort of silky elegance that only patience in the cellar can bring. The warm days and cooler nights up in this elevated northern part of the Ardèche have brought out a gorgeous high-frequency perfume that hits the top notes above the dense body of the wine perfectly. Pauline's wines bear an expressive purity that we put up there with some of the best wines we have tasted from the likes of Daniel Sage or Domaine Miquettes.
We're very proud to be bringing some of the tiny Petite Nature production over to the UK - the first time it has ever been available outside of France. We hope to add a wider selection of cuvées with the next vintage release.
Pauline Maziou is the definition of the grassroots, artisanal winemaker. Paulette, as she is known to her friends, began her Petite Nature project in 2019 with just a half hectare of vines near the village of Quintenas in the north of the Ardèche and a production of around 2000 bottles. The wines were, and still are, made in a tiny cellar beneath her home, that is crammed full of tanks, barrels and various pieces of manual winemaking equipment. It is a cottage industry to say the least, but the wines that emerge from this unassuming space are nothing short of stunning.
Originally from this part of France, she returned to follow the path of winemaking after leaving a media job in the city in pursuit of a lifestyle more in touch with, and in respect of nature. She trained formally before a stretch learning on the job with Jean Delobre of La Ferme des Sept Lunes, as well as the more under-the-radar, but highly influential Daniel Sage; two names one might associate with some of the most expressive wines of the Northern Rhône.
Since then Pauline has slowly increased her output each year, although in the grand scheme production is still resolutely micro. She has planted a small parcel of vines dotted with saplings directly behind her home as part of her own experimental agroforestry project, and she rents some additional surface nearby, which she farms organically with complementary biodynamic treatments. In the cellar the approach is strictly zero-zero; spontaneous fermentations, no filtration and nothing added to the wine at any stage. They are raised patiently until they are ready to be bottled - a bold choice when one has so little to work with, but one that speaks of her commitment to making wine this way.
We were struck by the purity and elegance of Paulette’s wines. They posses a quality one could associate with the Northern Rhône, with the sort of perfume to the reds that can only be achieved from the region’s hot days and cool nights. The decomposed granite soils here lend the mineral imprint and tension reminiscent of some of our favourite Beaujolais, but ultimately there is a plush concentration of fruit and soft-edged texture that make them distinctively her own.
Until now Paulette has focussed on distributing the small amount of wine she has made directly to cavistes in France only, rather than exporting. So with that in mind, we feel very fortunate to be bringing these unique wines to the UK for the very first time.