Franck does as little as possible to his vines and for his top wine, the Caubeigt, he picks the small rasin-like grapes in early November (without any rot!). These super concentrated berries are then slowly pressed in whole bunches and cold fermented with natural yeasts. Nothing more. Nothing less. The result is a freshness and purity like no other in a sweet wine. Don’t get me wrong, this is a sweet wine, but because of its balance and freshness, the Caubeigt doesn’t pen you in because it is sweet - chicken liver pate or meaty fish like Turbot or Sturgeon with a sweet puree on the side would be incredible with it. The Caubeigt from Castera, like Franck, is eye opening and exciting. It changes perceptions of sweet wine and opens up a whole new region of vinous enjoyment… Eureka, or should I say Santé!
Now, this wine is special for a few reasons. Jurancon has always been capable of producing sensational and distinct wines but for one reason or another they have not really reached that level. However, this winemaker nestled in the foothills of the Pyrenees has since taken Jurancon to the next level. We saw the winemaker Franck at Wine Paris last week. Regardless of being admittedly ‘tired’ from the night before, Franck lit up our day with his down to earth, enthusiastic and welcoming attitude to wine, life and others. His personality is echoed in the Castera wines. Exceptional quality with humility. 4th generation winemaker Franck has made wines for over 10 years around the world, where he picked up many ideas to improve the quality of wine back home. He gingerly introduced them to his father, and now has taken over the key decisions in the vineyards and winery.