2017 No Control Rockaille Billy is organic red wine and 100% Gamay from Vincent Marie. Vincent is from the Normandy region of France, his profession, before becoming a vigneron was a web-marketing manager for a company selling sports goods. He had been drinking natural wines ever since 2001 and had become passionate about them, even setting up a natural wine festival in Caen. He wondered what it would be like to produce natural wines in the Auvergne region, deciding to visit the village of Volvic, the gateway to the Auvergne. Here he met a wine-maker called Alain Gaudet who was making wines at his estate Domaine Sous-Tournoël. Gaudet retired in 2015 and agreed to rent the vines on his estate to Vincent, he helped and still helps Vincent very much, with advice and suggestions.
Vincent got going with his start-up in 2013 after a BTS and internships in Alsace with Patrick Meyer and Bruno Schueller. That’s like immersion therapy in biodynamic growing, coupled with patience, confidence, and focus in the cellar.
The No Control Domaine is 5 hectares of vines, there are different grape varieties: Gamay, pinot noir, syrah, chardonnay, sauvignon, sylvaner, and pinot auxerrois. All this gives No Control, depending on the vintage, between 5 and 7 vintages. The Rockaille-Billy 2018 comes from granite and sandy parcels, running south-east at 500m. That’s enough altitude to provide thin cooling air, during the growing season evenings. Handpicked in small baskets with ultra, high attention to fruit quality. Three weeks of maceration with natural fermentation. Raised in 2,300-liter vats, which are roughly the capacity of 10 barrels.
The work in the vineyards at No Control is made with full respect for the living, respect for plants, respect for the earth and respect for health. The vines have been certified organic since November 2017. Vincent’s friendship with Patrick Meyer allowed him to learn and acquire the skills for practising biodynamics, his plots receive the basic biodynamic preparations every year. The treatments in the vineyards follow the recommendations of the specifications for organic farming. So vincent uses minimal sulfur and copper to which he adds biodynamic tea to reduce the doses prescribed by the manufacturers. In short, vincent tries to follow the Demeter specifications. No Control Rockaille-Billy Gamay 2017 is also an impressive palette of diverse and varied soils from recent and ancient volcanic activity. What gives the wine a typicity, is a remarkable minerality.