Axel Prüfer

Le Temps des Cerises (Languedoc, France)

I first met German ex-pat turned stalwart Languedoc vigneron Axel Prüfer this past June at Miha and Tom’s new cellar inauguration party. Amidst the revelry of the evening, a friend and I went up to Axel, and asked if a visit would be possible the following day. “Of course,” he replied gently, and asked if we could come around breakfast time, and if anyone else wanted to join they’d be welcome. The following day, alongside Nathan Ratapu, owner of the fantastic Rerenga Wines in Paris, we rolled up to Axel’s place just on the other side of Bédarieux. Prüfer provided a breakfast of pizza and saucisson, and we proceeded to chat and to taste through most of his wines from 2022, then just about to be bottled. If you can drink someone’s wines at breakfast without hesitation, this is always a good sign. Beginning with the iconic La Capitulation Ne Paie Pas!, a light red or “rosé” of Cinsault, and passed through Chardonnay skins this year, it was immediately clear that like in most of the south of France, 2022 was a vibrant and profound vintage for Axel, even though he remained humble about his work, open to hearing all of our thoughts about each successive wine. After, La Peur du Rouge, a spritely delicate, and yet still full Chardonnay grown on limestone shimmered in everyone’s glasses. We finished up with more lightly macerated Cinsault, and a few blends of other various light on their feet red wines. Despite being a hallmark name and poured in Parisian and Japanese wine bars consistently for over a decade, there is a refreshingly humble youthfulness and understanding in Axel of just how out of control he actually is when it comes to making wine. No ego. I tend to look for this balance of knowing and not-knowing in the personalities of all of my favorite winemakers. Actually, any artist that is too sure of their work is usually an immediate turn off for me. After our refreshingly intimate tasting, Axel ran to the cellar to gather boxes of magnums and made sure that all of us left with at least a couple :).

La Peur du Rouge 2022

Avanti Popolo 2022
Red Blend

La Capitulation ne Paie Pas! 2022

Jalava 2022

Un Pas de Cote 2022