Domaine de Valmengaux is the brainchild of musician-cum-winemaker Vincent Rapin. Based in the town of Vérac – between Pomerol and St Emilion, the domaine is certified organic and uses biodynamic techniques. The vineyard is run, as Vincent puts it, on “common sense and pre-pesticide practices”, with only natural treatments being used and complex co-planting of other species in between the vines to promote their health. In his custom-made winery, Vincent is moving toward the use of less oak and has been investing instead in 12-hectolitre Stockinger barrels and amphorae, vessels which he feels allow the wine to express its true character. The grapes are hand-harvested, only natural yeasts are used and Vincent does not use SO2, but instead favours a polyphenol liquid which is also organic. The wines show a lightness of touch, elegance and – in our view – a touch of mystery. This exciting new producer is challenging the traditional methods and wine styles associated with Bordeaux and is most certainly on the up.