2018 I Vicini Barbera
'I Vicini,' which translate to "the Neighbors," is Peron's experimental project whereby he purchases fruit from just across the border in Piedmont to bring back to his cellar in the Savoie for vinification. This wine prances around the palate in a lively performance starring cherries, dark fruits, plum pie, strawberries and raspberries. Thyme and sage linger offstage. A little effevescence, if you're lucky. The Barbera grapes were harvested by hand from organic and biodynamic vineyards, before undergoing carbonic maceration and wild fermentation in neutral oak, then aged in neutral oak for 16 months. Unfined, unfiltered and, like all of Peron's cuvées, no sulphur added.
After studying winemaking in Bordeaux in the late '90s and then working for Thierry Allemand in Cornas and Bruno Schuller in Alsace, Jean-Yves Péron has become a cult natural winemaker. Born, bred and based in Savoie, Jean-Yves is patiently reviving ancient, forgotten vineyards in the French Alps. He tends his vineyards biodynamically, working across several micro-parcels containing Mondeuse, Jacquere, Altesse, and Roussanne. His vines are over a century old, and the schist-covered vineyards slope very steeply – hand-harvesting is basically mountain climbing! Fruit is all fermented naturally with no additives, expressing truthfully the amazing ancient Alpine terroir.