Closeries des Moussis

VigneronLaurence Alias and Pascale Choime
LocationArsac (Gironde)
Size of Domaine2 ha
TerroirAtlantic climate. Sedimentary graves of sand and gravels on clay. Some parcels are surrounded by Landes forest. Gentle undulations around 20m altitude.
ViticultureCertified biodynamic (Demeter)
View Closeries des Moussis wines ↓

This micro property in the Médoc is run by Pascale Choime and Laurence Alias, who respectively handle winemaking and farming. Originally from the Cognac region, Pascale trained as an oenologist (and keeps a day job as a teacher and maître de chai for the Lycée Agro-Viticole de Bordeaux-Blanquefort), while Laurence is an agricultural engineer.

The couple built the domaine from scratch, investing their own money and gradually growing their vineyard area from a minuscule 0.4ha to 2ha in the space of ten years.

The adventure started in 2009 when Michel and Stéphanie Théron of Clos du Jaugueyron offered them to take over the lease of 0.4ha pre-phylloxeric vines in Cantenac, a historical plot which includes ancient strains and lost varieties. The couple makes an exceptional wine called Baragane (named after the wild leeks that grow in the vineyard) from these vines, and it is interesting to note that Château Margaux takes cuttings from these rarities for their sélections massales.

In 2011 Laurence and Pascale added a further hectare on deep sandy gravels in Sénéjac and recently succeeded in securing a parcel of Margaux, from which they produced their first wine in 2017.

Farming organically from the start they are now part of a group of Margaux-based domaines who regularly share their experiences on biodynamic farming and pull together to make their preparations. Everything is done by hand in the vineyard, and they are helped by Jumpa a Trait-Breton horse who ploughs the soils.

Laurence and Pascale like to experiment and vinify in all kind of vessels, making fresh, nuanced and terroir-driven wines. They also intuitively understand that Bordeaux can produce wines with great finesse and purity of fruit at perfectly adequate, low levels of sulphur (30mg/l total or below).

Closeries des Moussis Wines

Closeries des Moussis

70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc (13% alc.)

Laurence and Pascale produce this exquisite wine from just 1ha of high density, biodynamically tended vines worked by their own horse, situated on the sandy, gravelly plateau of Sénéjac near Le Pian-Médoc. The extraction is very delicate by occasional pigeage, and the wine is aged for 16 months in new (10%) to 7yo barrels, the majority of which are 400 and 600ltr (rather than the more traditional 225ltr size). It would be difficult to find a purer fruited wine (using older/bigger barrels and low sulphur really help) which mingle black and red fruits, with a dynamism, freshness and very digestible quality, and fine tannins on the finish. And we don’t usually mention labels, but the design is exceptional too, and is just another sign of the care and love behind this wine. 25mg/l SO2 total. For drinking now to 2028.

Closeries des Moussis

70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot Noir, 10% Cabernet Franc/Malbec/Petit Verdot/Carménère/Vieux Cépages (13.5% alc.)

This particular bottling comes from pre-phylloxera vines located in Cantenac (Margaux) on silty-clay soils, a 0.4ha field blend with forgotten and unknown varieties. Expert pépiniériste Lilian Bérillon took some cuttings to study and propagate them. Yields rarely go above 10hh, the grapes are carefully destemmed to keep the berries intact, and transferred to the fermentation tank by gravity. After three weeks of maceration the wine goes into 3yo 225ltr oak barrels for élevage during 15 months. 700 bottles were made following a light filtration and less than 20mg/l of sulphur added. The century-old vines and gentle winemaking techniques confered texture, structure and depth to this incredible wine. Complex, lifted and high-tone this is Médoc in its most beautifully classic and restrained style; a unique glimpse in Bordeaux's past (and future?). A few years of cellaring will reward the lucky few. Best carafed in advance. Drink now to 2030.