Damien Bastian Goddard
We first came across the wines of Damien Bastian when we drank a bottle with Les Frères Soulier earlier this year, quite late at night. We were struck by the energy of the wine, especially considering it was a single varietal wine from Chasselas, a grape variety generally known for high yields and producing fairly uninteresting wines.
We hunted down the wine and the producer, along the way discovering that the maker of this fabulous wine had been working in the Jura with the well-known Jean-François Ganevat since early 2018, following a four-year stint with “Chasselas star producer” Dominique Lucas.
Damien Bastian's background is in Horticultural Agriculture, and he has many years' experience in cultivating vegetables, developing complex systems in Africa. After working a few years in Geneva and coming into contact with wine, he decided that he wanted to work in nature again. “Ca boit libre” is a play on words; drinking freely (without additives), and Freedom for Savoie (Savoie LIBRE), is the name of his estate, created in 2017.
This is by far the smallest estate we have decided to work with as Damien only farms 0.75 ha of vineyards; until recently he was still working three days a week in the Jura with “Fanfan” Ganevat. We have rarely seen someone so sensitive when it comes to the cultivation of plants and vines, and the result of his care is striking in the wines.
The estate encompasses two west-facing vineyards plots in Sciez, planted in 1985, in the appellation “Marignan.” The vineyards are planted on glacial moraine, a mere 500m away from the breathtaking Lake Geneva. The first wines to land with us are barrel-aged and show the real potential of the Chasselas variety. Needless to say, we are looking forward to seeing what he will do next, as the estate will increase by two hectares next year with the addition of plots of Gamay, Pinot Noir & Altesse.