Simon Gastrein - Hameau Touche Boeuf/Maison Troupeau
'Nature does things well if we let it be generous.'
Simon Gastrein here, Simon Gastrein there, these past six months, that's all I hear. Simon is the kind of young winemaker everyone talks about, the one sommeliers send you a photo of on WhatsApp asking you, "Do you know this? 🤪". I got FOMO.
Indeed, this former chef, who established himself only in 2017, seems to have found the cheat code to almost instantly achieve the status of an iconic bottle 🦄 not to be missed in Paname, a.k.a Paris.
But why? 👀
Firstly, it must be said, the young man has everything it takes to succeed. During our meeting in his village of Hameau Toucheboeuf, Simon exudes a skillful blend of necessary contradictions to make natural wine. He has plenty of self-confidence, yet he never takes himself too seriously. He has a clear vision of what he wants to do, but he also leaves room for improvisation. He's also someone who enjoys doing his own thing on his own, but he knows full well that everything becomes better when surrounded by good friends 🤘
The second reason for his success also comes from his vision of natural wine. Like many of my winemakers, Simon believes that natural wine can not only be as good as traditionally made wine but also much better. His recipe lies in his philosophy "Nature does things well if we let it be generous". He makes sure he does by developing permaculture practices, by having a flock of sheep gazing in the vineyards and a couples of bulls and chickens clucking around 🐔
For Simon, what matters is the taste, the quality of the beverage, the art, and the manner, regardless of prestigious appellations that sell themselves. The winemaker practices what he preaches by preferring to make an orange wine from grapes that could otherwise produce prestigious Condrieu wines. A bold risk? Not for him. He knows that his wines will find professionals, sommeliers, and wine merchants who will understand and respect his approach. I am one of them. And if not everyone understands the approach? It's almost a blessing in disguise because there is not much wine to sell anyway 👋
This leads us to talk about his wines, which are just as we like them at Cocorico. Straightforward, gastronomic, flattering while being expressive and a little quirky, his wines respect the fruit and bring out the best in local grape varieties. Elegant Syrahs, fresh Viogniers, crisp Marsannes/Roussannes and very gourmand Gamays.
Long story short, between the production of his Hameau Touche Boeuf estate and that of his Maison Troupeau trading company, Simon offers wines that have just as much of a place on the counter of a good bistro as they do on the tables of a starred restaurant 💫.
You can follow Simon's journey on the Instagram of Hameau Touche Boeuf and Maison Troupeau ☀️