Olivier Cazenave et Château, Bel a Ciao, Vin Orange, IGP Atlantique, France, 2022
Growing up in Libourne, it was inevitable that Olivier Cazenave was to fall in love with the world of wine, but it’s his revolutionary approach to winemaking and desire to break the rules that sets him apart.
Having worked in export sales for a number of negociants, in 1998 he became co-founder and the buyer at ChateauOnline, one of the first e-commerce websites in the wine business. In 2003 he and Anne were married and decided they wanted their own vineyards, as he says: “you would have had to be crazy to buy a property in Bordeaux in 2003” … but that they did. After much searching they discovered a property, whose garden meanders to the bank of the Dordogne, just 5km south of Libourne. At that time the vineyard area totalled 4.5 ha and was planted mainly with Merlot and some old Cabernet Franc. With his father-in-law’s help they bought nearby plots and extended to 8 hectares. The first few years were about slowly replanting and discovering the terroirs and by 2016 all of his vineyards were worked bio-dynamically, with 2019 being the first certified vintage. As well as vineyards in the Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superieur appellation, Olivier co-owns and rents a couple of other plots including a small cuvee ‘Aux Plantes’ St Emilion Grand Cru … His first vintage, 2011, was awarded by Revue des Vins de France “The best new talent for wines less than 20€” and also ranked second amongst all St Emilion Grand Crus. However, his irrepressible and somewhat “revolutionary” approach to winemaking and love of breaking the rules, had to find an outlet in such a traditional region, hence the creation of Bel a Ciao ... here his imagination can play and develop wines such as the exciting Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc orange wine, which from 2021 is organic.
Because of Olivier’s somewhat “revolutionary” approach to winemaking and love of breaking the rules, in such a traditional region, he created the Bel a Ciao label ... named after a revolutionary song which also features in La Casa de Papel on Netflix (you’ll need to Google it!). Here he produces an exciting Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc orange wine, with grapes sourced from a friend’s vineyard, which by 2021 will be organic. The Semillon grapes come from really healthy vineyards in the Entre-Deux-Mers, harvested in early September, a little later than other varieties. No added Sulfites are used during the harvesting process.
Vinified as you would a red wine, protected with carbonic ice during the filling process, with 2 weeks of skin maceration of the Semillon must to extract the orange colour, before a gravity fed run off into a separate tank for 6 months at 5°C until bottling. If vintage conditions allow, there are no added sulfites in order to preserve the authenticity of the site and variety. A tiny amount of Sauvignon Blanc (2%) is added just before bottling to enhance the freshness and acidity.
No oak ageing
The wine has refreshing citrus aromas such as tangerine as well as wild flowers. The mouth is fresh, lively and complex with notes of fresh tropical and citrus fruits. A slightly spicy, long lemon finish. The lack of sulfites used in the vineyard and in production combined with careful winemaking, this wine has incredibly low sulfite levels in the finished wine.
Works nicely with exotic spicy food or citrus based dishes, oysters, fish and seafood.
Sauvignon Blanc 10%
12 x 75cl