A Fouzy Tout Summer by Rebekah Pineda

The last time we saw Adrien Baloche of La Ferme du Plateau (more on him below) was at Anonymes, the zero sulfur salon held during the annual natural wine fairs in the Loire, in the waning days of normalcy before COVID took over the world. Adrien was set up next to a very prominent female winemaker. The biggest wine buyers from Copenhagen and Tokyo reached (and talked) over each other to get a tiny taste of her zero sulfur concoctions. Adrien stood a table away, running his hands through his hair, stressed as fuck about who was going to buy the upcoming vintages of his wine. He had also brought grape juice so everyone could refresh their palates after hours of ripping acid and a bit too much mouse. It was one of the best things that I tasted at Anonymes; thoughtful and practical. 

The rest of the trip, I kept pestering Jeff about Adrien and how much of his wine we could take. The trip went on, we came home, the world shut down, but I couldn't forget about Adrien. In May, we decided to commit to a significant amount of Adrien's wine, with the support of Eric and the ever-growing Domestique Wine Club (spoiler alert: September wine club is going to be lit). And I decided to help Adrien re-label our favorite cuvee, Fouzy Tout. Thanks to Google Translate, a printer in Tours who spoke a little English, and friend in the Loire, it got done just in time.

Drawing the label, I wanted something simple and optimistic. It was month two of COVID. At Adrien's farm, there's a rustic picnic bench that we once sat on together with his wife Anne, his best friend (whose name always escapes me), and a woman working with them that summer. I arrived after being terribly lost and taking the world's most expensive taxi ride there. We sat on the bench drinking coffee with lots of awkward silence. Looking back at that moment, it was a "fouzy tout." A muddle of people who didn't make sense together, but once we started tasting and talking wine, it clicked.

I wanted the label to reflect the messy and imperfect nature of many of our lives. It's a simple drawing. A doodle of a couple leaning on each other during a time when people were scared to leave their apartments and hadn't hugged loved ones in months. When I close my eyes and imagine visiting La Ferme du Plateau, I remember sitting on a bench feeling comforted by a group of complete strangers after a disastrous day of travel.

Fouzy Tout is a conferment of (primarily) Grolleau with Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc. The word is French slang for a blend. According to Adrien, "in cooking, for example, it means there are a lot of different things inside! If by any chance it's good, you've got a new recipe!" It's a light-bodied red/white blend that even in a hot vintage comes in at a whopping 11.5% alcohol. My tasting note for it in August was, "delicious."

It was important to me to give Adrien a label that reflected his thoughtfulness and kindness. From the maker to the label, Fouzy Tout is special and significant. It's a gentler and softer story than most in this money-driven world. Adrien isn't a self-proclaimed rockstar, but he is making wonderful wines that we're very lucky to have imported by Selection Massale and at the shop. Enjoy. 

- Rebekah Pineda