Club Naturel - July 2021

Martin Taxier

Petite Nature Pet Nat

Region: Brezeme, France

Grapes: Muscat | Chasselas Rose

Martin Texier, son of the now famous northern Rhône natural wine producer Eric Texier, began making wine in 2014 after a previous life studying economics. After leaving university, he ventured into music (he is an accomplished DJ) and also spent time in New York City learning about the wine trade there (he held internships at both Uva Wines in Brooklyn and Flatiron Wines in Manhattan, as well as the greatest record store in the world, A1 Records). It was after this that he realized that his calling was to follow in his father’s footsteps and return to the vines.

He now has five hectares in and around St.-Julien-en-St.-Alban, planted to classic Rhône varieties, both red and white. There are many different soil types here: clay, limestone, gneiss, schist and granite, making for a wide range of different styles of wine to be made. Martin’s passion is to revive the local traditions of working the natural way, both in the vines and in the cellar (native yeast fermentations, no sulfur). The results he has been getting this early in his career are a clear testament to his skills.

Petit Nature is Martin’s pétillant naturel made from Muscat, Chasselas Rose, and a mélange of different table varieties. Direct press to stainless steel; bottled with 15g/liter residual sugar to carry out secondary fermentation in the bottle.

Vignoble du Rêveur


Region: Alsace, France

Grapes: 50% Riesling | Pinot Gris | Pinot Blanc

While Mathieu Deiss’ main gig remains working in the vines and cellar of his father’s family domaine, Domaine Marcel Deiss, he and his partner, Emmanuelle Milan, kicked off their personal project in 2013. Mathieu explains the story and inspiration behind the Vignoble du Rêveur wines, the fruit of vineyards he inherited from his maternal grandfather:

“All his life, my grandfather fought for his independence, for true freedom! Working his vineyards today is my homage to his fight, to his idealistic dreams, and I intend to continue his battle. It’s time to take back the right to dream, to build a future without limits, to reinvent wine and its definition, to break the rules, move walls and open our eyes, to decide that anything is possible!

By 2016 I had taken on the entire 7 hectares that my uncle and grandfather left to me. Vignoble du Rêveur includes no grape purchases, no negociant activity, and remains entirely my own production. The parcels are located mostly in the commune of Bennwihr, just outside of the valley of Kaysersberg, on a relatively young soil of Quatenary stone.

Without a doubt, the natural environment is the ultimate guide when it comes my viticultural practices. So, instinctively, I immediately began reconverting the entire estate to organic and biodynamic agriculture. After all, if we look back in the grand scheme of things, this was the only viticultural method throughout most of history! Because I have taken back my family’s holdings little by little, this transition to organics has been progressive.

When it comes to vinification, I do not plan to create an independent winery, especially because my main role remains at Domaine Marcel Deiss. Vignoble du Rêveur was born from my desire to continue the vineyard legacy of my maternal uncle, but I chose to vinify both Rêveur and Deiss in the same place as I simply cannot be in two places at once during harvest.”

The grapes for Singulier come from 45 year old vines.  Varieties are vinified and aged separately in stainless steel, the Riesling and Pinot Gris undergo 10 days of semi-carbonic maceration.  Indigenous yeasts, no added sulfur. Aged 12 months on fine lees, unfiltered.

Domaine Bobinet

Piak! Rouge

Region: Saumur, Loire, France

Grapes: Grolleau Noir

Domaine Bobinet started in 2002, when Sebastien took over 1.8 hectares of vines and the cellar from his maternal grandparents. He’s the 7th generation of a family of winemakers in Dampierre-sur-Loire, part of the region of Saumur.  Choosing to grow organically and vinify naturally, without chemicals, was beyond question, especially under the influence of Anjou-based wine- maker, Olivier Cousin.

To begin with, Sebastien grew 1.5 hectares of Cabernet-Franc and 0.3 hectare of Chenin Blanc, handpicking his grapes then vinifying and ageing them in his cellar, which is carved into tuffeau (limestone) of the riverbanks of Saumur. The resulting wines became Amateus Bobi and Echalier.

In 2007 Sebastien’s interest in carbonic maceration led him to Bernard Pontonnier who helped him better understand this method of winemaking, which he himself had learnt from Jules Chauvet, Marcel Lapierre, Jean Foillard and many others during his time as a restauranteur in Paris. Bernard was, after all, one of the first to introduce natural wine onto his lists. Together, Sebastien and Bernard made Greta Carbo with the fruit from a single, small plot.

Then came the time to expand and diversify: Sebastien took over 2 hectares of Cabernet Franc in 2010 and started buying Pineau d’Aunis, Gamay and Cot to experiment with using different grapes. Du Rififi a Beaulieu was born!

In 2011, his partner Emeline Calvez, a trained sommelière, joined him in the domaine. Together they created Ruben with new vines bought in 2010. Their collaboration gave a new dimension to the domaine which continued to grow and strengthen, all the while striving towards a sustainable and ethical practice. Then came Hanami and Piak!

Clos Marfisi

Les Nuits Rouges

Region: Patrimonio, Corsica, France

Grapes: Niellucciu

If you aren’t familiar with Corsica, the main event is Patrimonio. This AOC is the oldest of nine regions on the island and covers 400ha, with half of them being owned by the two largest producers, and the other half split up amongst 30 smaller growers. If you haven’t already guessed, Clos Marfisi is part of the latter. Brother and sister, Mathieu and Julie are fifth generation at the helm of this estate, having taken over from their father, Touissant, when Julie returned in 2001, and her brother in 2012, from having careers elsewhere in France.

Clos Marfisi’s vineyards (which Touissant planted about 40-50 years ago) rise up from the Mediterranean with southern and western exposures on steep slopes that are practically white with large chunks of broken up limestone. Seriously impressive. Equally impressive is the fact that they never gave into outside pressure and the entirety of the estate is planted to local varieties, so you won’t find any Grenache here. Their father is still very active in the vineyards, and is the main reason that this estate has never been touched by pesticides or herbicides, which were shunned for one reason or another by previous generations of vignerons on the island. This commitment to organics continues and the estate will be certified Bio by the 2018 vintage. Vestiges of the old guard remain in the cellar as well where native yeasts have always been used for fermentations, and sulfur levels are kept to a minimum.

Niellucciu is the primary red grape of Patrimonio, where it must make up at least 95% of the final blend.  Historically it was believed to be indigenous to Corsica, however late in the twentieth century ampelographers began to suggest that it originated in Italy and was brought to the Island through Genoa.  Genetic similarities with Sangiovese suggest the two are very closely related.

Les Nuits Rouges is a carbonic maceration of Niellucciu that sees 8 months élevage in stainless steel. The grapes come from both the Gritole and Ravagnola parcels. No sulfur added.



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Sun: 12pm to at least 8pm or sundown

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