Bordeaux has a reputation for being rich in prestigious estates producing exceptional wines with prices on par, but there is one estate that stands out from all the rest. Having taken its name from the Roman god of viticulture, Liber Pater is a small gourmet winery in Graves, which only began production in 2006 and labels its wines only as ‘Vin de France’.
So how did Liber Pater become a cult object and one of the top producers in Bordeaux? The answer lies with the owner and adventurous winemaker Loic Pasquet. His inspiring dedication to bringing back Bordeaux grape varieties such as Marselan, Tarney Coulant and Castet, and his focused commitment to quality produces exceptional wines that often receive above 90 points from top wine critics.
Pasquet works in particular with non-grafted vines and believes this allows him to create more authentic wines. During the rapid spread of phylloxera in the mid 1800s which destroyed 40% of French vineyards, French vines were grafted onto American vines, which were resistant to the disease. Pasquet’s use of non-grafted strains provides wine lovers with an aroma of Bordeaux before phylloxera, offering a nostalgic point of comparison with modern Bordeaux varietals.
Accompanying the focus on little-known historical strains is a way of reclaiming traditional winemaking methods. Pasquet cultivates his vineyards with little more than a 150-year-old plough and a mule, working in an organic manner that helps him to have an incredibly small impact on the environment. Obviously, producing wine in this way is labour intensive and is significantly more expensive than modern mechanised methods, but the end result is unique and magnificent; a wine that recalls the ancient harmony between man and earth.
Since Loic produces tiny quantities per year of his Liber Pater, these are incredibly rare and hard to find. Approximately 2400 bottles of Liber Pater red are produced annually, depending on the vintage, along with 300 bottles each of their delicious white wine, fermented in oak barrels, and their sweet dessert wine. Depending on the vintage, Pasquet’s iconic Liber Pater red is produced to ferment and have a maturation process of between 10 and 25 years in the cellar before reaching its optimum ripeness.
These modest quantities and fantastic quality are the reasons why Liber Pater wines are so sought after around the world despite the estate’s short age. For an investor looking to invest beyond the best traditional Bordeaux estates, Liber Pater is an excellent option with the potential to make significant returns in the future thanks to the exclusivity, authenticity and sheer passion behind the brand.