Vincent Caillé is a 5th generation winemaker and he currently carves out a living in the heart of Muscadet Sevre et Maine in Monnières. Both of his parents hail from winemaking families and Vincent is one of the few winegrowers from Nantes who produce wines organically, a true priesthood due to the oceanic climate and the propensity of grapes here to welcome mildew. He began working with his father in 1986 and took over his dad's 4 Ha parcel when he retired in 1992. He continued to expand the domaine by purchasing great parcels that came up for sale. At one point the estate grew up to 38 Ha and then Vincent reduced it back down to 26 Ha by selling the least interesting parcels. Now, the estate is owned by both Vincent, his wife Sylvie and his two younger brothers.
Vincent's goal is to produce exceptional grapes that yield the best expressions from his vineyards without intervention. "The harder and better you work in the vineyard, the less you have to do in the cellar, he says." He is not lazy, however he tends to learn year after year that you just need "to do nothing", meaning do not interfere in the making of the wine. In the cellar, he vinifies his wines in the traditional way with indigenous yeast and long aging on the lees. His wines, with ridiculously low prices, are of remarkable density and sensitivity that restore the image of a resurgent appellation. His work leads to a very expressive Gros Plant, straight, pure laser beam Muscadet expressing those identities leached from the terroirs (orthogneiss, gabbro and granite) and extremely aromatic reds (Cot, Abouriou and Gamay).
As we enter a cooler time of year and we all look for some good tangy reds, try to snag a bottle of 2012 Gamay from Vincent. It is slightly different from what you could expect. The big difference here from other Gamay is the expression of the terroir. Only 3% of the Pays Nantais soil is made out of Gabbro, the same rock which gives the great minerality to the Muscadet from the area of Gorges. Gabbro is close to Basalt, and the result of cooling and solidification of lava. It is made up of an unusual black and green rock mixed with sand. The rocks give the wine grown on it minerality and the sand gives those characteristics of fleshier fruit. What makes this wine so delicious is its freshness, acidity 'pointue' as they say in French, or pointed, sharp, crisp & defined. Vincent's Gamay was planted 40 years ago and vinified in the same way as his other reds; 7 days of maceration, 5 month in stainless steel and bottled without any filtration. He only makes 2800 bottles of Gamay. Yes, 230 cases of this perfect food pairing wine that will seduce you with aromas of chalk, crushed red fruits and dried flowers. The wine delivers an earthy elegance with a light vein of sour acidity, pencil lead shavings, cranberry, rhubarb and is extremely food friendly. Ideal with roasted birds, ripe double or triple crème cheeses and charcuterie.
You can see a nice quote on Le Fay D'Homme wine boxes : " To make good wine, you need a certain philosophy...you need to be a dreamer ".
La Part du Colibri translated means the Part of the Hummingbird. The reference is to an ancient Amerindian story:
During a forest fire, a small bird in flight and friend of the flowers, was the only one to busy itself in front of the towering inferno. All the animals were terrified and appalled, on their heels watching the disaster helplessly. Only the small hummingbird was busy, fetching a few drops of water in its beak to throw onto the fire. After a while, the armadillo, annoyed by his trivial actions, told the hummingbird - "Are you crazy?! "Do you think you are going to put out the fire with these tiny drops of water?" "I know", said the hummingbird, "but I'm playing my part".