Perched on the heights of Montaigut-le-Blanc, in the Puy-de-Dôme, Pierre Beauger makes wines of a rare sensitivity, full and deep. A real "touch" that does not deceive, wines that make an impression, that truly call out to you...
|Pinot Noir, Syrah, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc
|SB 2017, Syrah
Montaigut-le-Blanc, a small medieval village in the heart of the Auvergne, dominated by its castle, a real feudal fortress, and surrounded by vineyards and orchards. It is here, perched on the hill, that Pierre Beauger lives with his wife Fabienne and their two children. The narrow streets of the village barely allow vehicles to pass, so it is on foot that we approach the house, passing in front of the small ceramic workshop where Fabienne gently makes vases, cups and other decorative objects.
Pierre, with the same gentleness, the same passion, the same precision, is busy a few metres away, in the vaulted cellar under the guest house which adjoins theirs. A few steps, a few stairs to go down and you enter this magical world that is Pierre's. A glance to the right and it is bottles of Champignon Magique that continue their slow evolution in the bottle, next to various boxes, witnesses of many old vintages now disappeared.
The story began in 2001, after two years of training and various apprenticeships with Thierry Puzelat. Pierre, who had initially imagined himself as a farmer or peasant, returned to his native Puy-de-Dôme and rented 1.5 hectares of vines on the Gergovie plateau, with Gamay, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris, which gave birth to the iconic V.I.T.R.I.O.L. and Champignon Magique.
The next part of the story takes shape in Champeix, where Pierre restructures old dry stone terraces found in 2003 and realises the dream of planting "his" vines between 2004 and 2005, 1.5 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Syrah spread over some 3 hectares of terraces. The land has not been cultivated for more than fifty years, and has never known chemical "dirt", where the vines grow alongside almond trees, elder trees, hawthorns...
The work in the vineyard is in phase with nature, and Pierre, assisted by Bijou, his young Ferrandese ox of eight hundred kilos, intervenes with great parsimony, using only sulphur flower and Bordeaux mixture for the treatments, which he limits to the maximum. The harvest is often late and the sorting is meticulous. In the cellar, grapes, nothing but grapes, and time is left to time, the wines being made at their own pace with two watchwords, fluidity and drinkability. The gentle evolution and definition of these very distinctive juices, Pierre's aim is to make wines that can be kept for a long time, but which are also good to drink when young.
Vins de table that must be tasted, for lack of being able to put into words the right words for bottles that have come straight from another galaxy.
A well-informed eye will quickly discover certain little messages on Pierre's labels. His credo is not to take himself seriously and to take a light-hearted, amused and amusing look at the codes of the wine world.
One can thus read "Vendangé en tongues", "Vendangé en jour fesses", "Vendangé chez les autres" when his vines were hit by hail in 2013, or "Agriculture non subventionnée", a militant slogan that proves Pierre's independence. The names of the vintages have also had their comical touch in the past, with notably "Not for highway use", "Gone to Hail" or even “Je n’ai pas eu d’idée de nom pour cette cuvée-là…”