Les Chemins de Bassac

Who: Bruno Triguero and Thama Sakuma.

Where: Puimisson, Languedoc.

What grapes: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Pinot Noir, Roussanne, Viognier

How many bottles: 80,000

Key facts: This 19th century winery and NOP certified organic 17 hectare farm has pivoted from quantity to quality wine production over the last two generations.


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Les Chemins de Bassac, A Deriva

Organic: Certified Organic, Certified Vegan
Soil type: Limestone-clay originating from ancient Quaternary alluvial terraces
Elevation: 100m
Grapes:  Pinot Noir 80%  Syrah 20%
Method of fermentation: 
Bottles made: 

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Les Chemins de Bassac, Isa Blanc

Organic: Certified Organic, Certified Vegan
Soil type:  Limestone-clay originating from ancient Quaternary alluvial terraces
Elevation: 100m
Grapes: Roussanne 60% Viognier 40% 
Method of fermentation: Fermented in enameled lined cement tanks 
Bottles made: 15,000

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Les Chemins de Bassac, Isa Rosé

Organic: Certified Organic, Certified Vegan
Soil type:  Limestone-clay originating from ancient Quaternary alluvial terraces
Elevation: 100m
Grapes:  Grenache 65% Syrah 15% Mourvèdre 20%
Method of fermentation: Fermented in enameled lined cement tanks
Bottles made: 

Les Chemins de Bassac, Isa Rouge

Organic: Certified Organic, Certified Vegan
Soil type:  Limestone-clay originating from ancient Quaternary alluvial terraces
Elevation: 100m
Grapes: Grenache 16%, Syrah 30%, Mourvèdre 22%, Cabernet Sauvignon 12% and Pinot Noir 20%
Method of fermentation: Fermented in enameled lined cement tanks
Bottles made: 


The winery has been family-owned since the beginning of the 19th century. Today Bruno Triguero and his wife Thama farm 15 hectares. When I visited them for the first time, I wondered how these former Sao Paolo residents were adjusting to life in a decidedly sleepy new hometown. It’s quaint for sure, and the winery is a wonderful throwback, a vast building evocative of the productive early 20th century history of this region. The couple’s office is perched along a gangplank high above the vast old tanks of this spacious warehouse. I love the feel, and the old school equipment that Les Chemins de Bassac still use.

I met Isabelle and Remy Ducellier, the couple who previously owned Les Chemins de Bassac, in Paris in the winter of 2004. To be honest I sought out Isabelle and Remi. Early in my wine selling life I fell into the habit of drinking their affordable red by the case-load. In the intervening years their wines had gotten better, less oaky, more real. In Bordeaux we met again, this time at an organic trade show in the summer of 2007. The Ducelliers are people one naturally gravitates toward. They had the weathered, fit, attractive look of a couple that works outdoors on a sun-baked farm. I really liked them. They give off an aura of earnestness, have a good sense of humor, seem primarily concerned with wine and the how to correctly farm it.

Once they had been history teachers. In 1987, when Isabelle's family wanted to sell the property, the couple decided to leave Paris and take over the estate. The Cotes de Thongue is a promising sub region of the Languedoc, close to the city of Beziers. As years pass, the current spirit of exploration of terroir, dedication to unprecedented high levels of quality and vigorous experimentation will erase the memory of this region as a source of inexpensive plonk. As AOCs are slowly carved out of the larger Coteaux du Languedoc, the Cotes de Thongue becomes a likely candidate for promotion from its current IGP status to AOC. Viognier and Roussanne are the grapes harvested for Isa Blanc. Approximately 15,000 bottles of the wine are made each year, from low-yielding (40 hl/ha) vines. The wine is thirst-quenching, sunny, easy to enjoy. Isa is relatively light in texture for a southern French white, with acidity that is so correct for its weight that you don’t much notice it. Not oily or heavy, certainly not sharp. Isa Rose is the star of their lineup, a pitch perfect Mediterranean pink wine whose pale hue belies uncommon intensity and precision of flavor.Isa Rouge is a fruit-forward and fresh blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre,and Pinot Noir. A Deriva –is a reserve wine of sorts, a combination of Syrah and Pinot Noir that will exert gravitational pull on natural wine lovers. Wintry, dense, with pronounce