The most expensive wine in the world no longer comes from French Burgundy, but from the Bordeaux region. It is the Liber Pater that still surpasses the Romanée Conti in price.
Loïc Pasquet, the Bordeaux vintner behind Liber Pater, “the most expensive wine in the world” at €30,000 a bottle, has launched a new label, Denarius. “I wanted to make something affordable,” says Pasquet ironically. Although it does not plan to surpass Domaine La Romanée Conti in terms of prices, it is still higher than the 1855 classified First Growths. “Liber Pater is extremely expensive and rare. Denarius places wines from its own roots on the tables of French restaurants. This is actually very affordable to be able to taste pre-phylloxera wine,” explains Pasquet, who makes these wines as they used to be made with vines from the same time. Returning to the roots of the Bordeaux wine region, he goes back to the mid-19th century with peaks towards 1850 and he does this by using ancient vineyard management techniques (mixed crops and trained vines, tillage with a mule , organic sprays and very high planting densities of 20,000 vines/hectare) together with extremely old original vines. Liber Pater claims to offer the historic taste of Bordeaux wines. Pasquet's approach is deliberately confrontational. The wines are produced outside the appellation system and are referred to as Vin de France.
The vineyards currently in production include Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with vines at least 40 years old. The Semillon vines are more than 80 years old and are used to make dry white and/or sweet white wine depending on the vintage and specific conditions. Loïc is also in the middle of a process of planting a number of very old grape varieties in his vineyard. These are varieties such as Castets, Mancin and Pardotte. Varieties that already existed in the vineyards of Bordeaux before they were destroyed by the phylloxera wine louse in the last decades of the 19th century. Today, his vineyard is the only one in Bordeaux - or anywhere in the world - where these varieties are grown. In addition, he plants the vines at an extremely high density of 20,000 vines per hectare. That is twice the plant density of the Premiers Grands Crus in the Médoc. To prevent attacks by the phylloxera, Loïc created three small lakes, so that he can flood the vineyard if necessary because the phylloxera wine aphid cannot withstand water.