Les Cigales dans la Fourmilière
Summer Releases from Julie Brosselin & Ivo Ferreira (Languedoc, France)
The following first appeared in the February, 2022 issue of Visions, the monthly zine of Psychic Wines
The Languedoc-Roussillon, a wine growing region in the south of France, close to the Spanish Catalan border, epitomizes the freedoms and ideals of what natural wine has the potential to realize. It is a place where winemakers, in higher numbers every year, produce the kinds of joie de vivre wines that made me fall in love with the creative spirit of nature wine in the first place. While less storied than its summer linen-button-down Eastern neighbor, Provence, this is a region that is quickly becoming a breeding ground for new styles of experimentation. Yet, in many of the most exciting projects that have cropped up lately, it hasn’t lost touch with its roots as a home for laid back and straight up delicious juices. Elixirs born from sun-kissed Mediterranean ripened fruits that illicit sensory pleasures in the body, and begin to expose the wonders of the natural world through the glass. It’s within this scope of the avant garde, combined with the simplicity of living
a southern French paysan life, that the romantic and creative partners Julie Brosselin and Ivo Ferreira relaxedly fit.
Before coming together to form their poetically named domaine Les Cigales dans la Fourmilières, or The Cicadas in the Anthills, Julie and Ivo were already seasoned professionals in the realms of vin nature. Julie, a partner in the also Languedoc based Le Petit Domaine, and Ivo (who at that time was making wines in the area under the name l’Escarpolette) having worked in Bordeaux and alongside Jean-Marc Brignot in the Jura. Their previous work experiences form a set of triangular regional poles that explain the addictive tension between tradition and experimentation in their wines. I tend to think of Julie and Ivo in line with some of the great romantic vigneron partnerships: Clementine and Gianmarco of Le Coste, Ghislaine Magnier and Alain Castex (the pair that is arguably responsible for the current wave of creativity in the region) of Le Casot des Mailloles, as well as Catherine Dumora and Manu Duveau of l’Egrappille and Yahou Fatal, just to name a few. There was and is a creative push and pull in these relation- ships that have produced wines of ecstatic beauty that I believe couldn’t have come from the work of just a sole maker. The wholes are always greater than the sums of their parts.
Julie and Ivo’s bottles are perfect introductions to those open to the wonders and textural delights of natural wines. I consistently bring them to intimate gatherings, or if I feel good about how the beginnings of a romantic relationship are going, I’ll open one at dinner. I have never experienced someone being apathetic to these wines. Even on a solely visual level, the bottles intrigue with their calligraphic and illustratively styled labels that contain little to no information. I recount a moment of romantic bliss in early 2020 quarantine over a bottle of Celeste, their month long maceration of old vine Muscat—a heady and aromatic grape which I would consider Julie and Ivo to be masters of. It is my favorite wine that they make, but this particular bottle of Celeste, which I assume is named as an ode to the moon, solidified an unspoken bond and understanding of some intangible depth and knowledge between a partner and I at that particular moment in time. And while that relationship has since long passed, I look back fondly and see Julie and Ivo’s iconic calligraphic mark in my mind’s eye. Sitting here now, wrapping up this piece and conjuring various aromas and textures from Julie and Ivo’s wines in my sense memory, I’m reminded of my therapist telling me to stop over-intellectualizing everything. To get down to the emotional core of the thing. This is what matters: at any moment and in any situation, Julie and Ivo’s wines are simply a joy to drink.
Marée Basse 2021
Grenache Noir / Terret Bourret
La Polonaise 2021
Muscat á Petit Grain, Terret Bourret
Queue de Comete 2021
Mourvedre / Grenache Noir
Escarpolette Blanc 2021
Vermentino / Muscat á Petit Grain
Muscat á Petit Grain (One Month Maceration)