Bordeaux has a reputation for being liberally sprinkled with prestigious estates producing stellar wines with price tags to match, but there is one estate that stands out from all the others. Named after the ancient Roman god of viticulture, Liber Pater is a small boutique winery in Graves which only began production in 2006 and labels its wines simply as “Vin de France”.
So, how is it that Liber Pater has rapidly developed a cult following as Bordeaux’s finest producer? The answer lies in maverick winemaker and owner Loic Pasquet. His inspirational dedication to reviving forgotten Bordeaux varietals like Marselan, Tarney Coulant, and Castet and laser-like focus on quality produces exceptional wines which frequently receive ratings over 90 points by top wine critics.
Pasquet primarily works with ungrafted rootstock which he believes allows him to create more authentic wines. During the rapid spread of the phylloxera disease in the mid 1800s which wiped out over 40% of French vineyards, French shoots were grafted onto American rootstock which was resistant to the disease. Pasquet’s bold use of ungrafted rootstock gives drinkers a taste of what pre-phylloxera Bordeaux was like, providing a nostalgic point of comparison with modern Bordeaux styles.
Accompanying the focus on little-known historic varietals is a move back to traditional winemaking techniques. Pasquet farms his vineyards with little more than a 150 year old plough and a mule and works organically which helps him to tread incredibly lightly on the natural environment. Of course, making wine in this way is labour intensive and significantly more costly than mechanised modern methods, but the end result is a thing of rare beauty; a wine which reminds of the ancient harmony between man and earth.
Since Loic produces miniscule quantities of his Liber Pater wines each year, they are incredibly rare and difficult to get hold. Approximately 2400 bottles of the Liber Pater red are made each year depending on the harvest along with 300 bottles each of Pasquet’s delicious oak-fermented white and sweet dessert wine. Depending on the vintage, Pasquet’s iconic Liber Pater red is designed to mature and age for between 10 and 25 years in the cellar before reaching optimum maturity.
These modest quantities and terrific quality are why Liber Pater wines are highly sought-after all over the globe despite the recent founding of the estate. For an investor looking to go beyond Bordeaux’s traditional top estates, Liber Pater is an excellent option with potential to deliver significant returns in the future thanks to the exclusivity, authenticity, and pure passion which lie behind the label.