Our first encounter with Mikael Boutin occurred last February in the tiny and charming village of Rasteau. Mikael, who was directed to us through an acquaintance from New Orleans, solicited us out of the blue, via email. Intrigued by the details of his small domaine and excited at the prospect of adding this appellation to our portfolio, we happily made some time in our schedule to stop by and take a look. We might have walked right by his unassuming place, located just off the town square, if not for the small plaque affixed to the side of the building. Making our way inside, we soon found ourselves seated around his dinner table with two bottles of Rasteau—the only wine he makes—in front of us: his 2014 and 2015. Mikael, a slightly serious but gracious fellow, briefly told his story and presented us with these two wines that showed honesty, personality and promise. A short walk up the hill brought us to a small building, barely larger than a two-car garage, which represented the totality of his production facility. The inside contained a few large concrete tanks, a small, manually operated basket press—and little else. In an area where we are frequently solicited by larger producers making wines that lack character and soul, we could not help but be captivated by Boutin’s intimate and modest venue. Needless to say, we knew we had found our man in Rasteau.
Mikael, a slightly serious but gracious fellow, briefly told his story and presented us with these two wines that showed honesty, personality and promise.
Certified organic by Ecocert since 2012, practicing organic since 2003
Only copper sulfate
Annual ploughing to maintain vineyard health
Blue clay endemic to Rasteau
Trained in Gobelet, vines average 40 years old
Controlled through pruning and debudding, yields average 30 hl/ha.
Entirely manual, usually mid-September
Always entirely estate fruit
Following total destemming, wine ferments spontaneously in concrete vats. Cuvaison lasts c. 15-18 days.
Wine sees pumpovers during fermentation.
Vertical basket press
Spontaneous, in vats directly following alcoholic fermentation.
Wines age c. 8 months in concrete vats.
Wine remains on its fine lees until assemblage prior to bottling.
FINING & FILTRATION
Wine is unfined and sees plate filtration.
Applied after malolactic and at bottling.