Le Galouchey is a micro-estate spanning barely one hectare in the Libournais region of Bordeaux. Winemaker and owner Marco Pelletier provocatively labels his wine “vin de jardin” instead of using the Bordeaux appellation. This choice contrasts with the term “vins de garage” (garagistes) and underscores that the Galouchey vineyard is essentially a small garden, emphasizing that wines properly derive from nature, not from a garage.
Marco Pelletier, a French Canadian from Montreal, is one of the most respected sommeliers in France. He began his training at Michel Rostang in 1999, then, in 2003, became the chef sommelier at the three-star Taillevent. In 2008, he took on the role at the three-star Epicure, both prestigious establishments in Paris. Among his other ventures, Marco currently owns and operates the celebrated bistro Vantre in Paris’ fashionable 11th arrondissement. The restaurant has received numerous accolades, including the Wine Spectator’s Grand Award, Best Bistro Wine List by La Revue du Vin de France, and the Best Wine List in Paris by esteemed wine critics Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve.
The vines at Le Galouchey were planted on virgin land that had never been cultivated, free from any fertilizers, pesticides, or chemical applications. The viticulture practices are entirely organic, and the vineyard is meticulously tended by hand. The vines are planted at a density of 6200 per hectare and yield 39 hectoliters per hectare.
Each of the nine grape varieties is hand-harvested at ideal phenolic ripeness. The grapes are manually de-stemmed, berry by berry. With no crushing (foulage), the must is predominantly free-run juice, complemented by pure juice from a gentle horizontal pressing of the marc. Each variety is separately fermented in stainless steel to avoid the addition of sulfur, using indigenous yeasts. Marco avoids any extraction, with limited pump-overs to keep the cap moist. After the alcoholic fermentation is complete, the young wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in stainless steel vats and is then racked into one-year-old Bordeaux barrels to age, typically for 16-18 months. There is no fining, and only a nominal, light filtration at 3 microns is performed.