If you’ve ever been to RAW Wine—the London-based natural wine fair—then you already know about “that crazy Frenchwoman.” Isabelle Legeron, MW, is a vocal proponent of “natural wines,” using her website, television show and wine fairs to promote winemakers who work without chemical inputs in the vineyard or additives in the wines. If you haven’t been to RAW, this book might be the next best thing, as it captures the energy these events generate, and gives a taste of the wines and the characters that fill the rooms. The book reads like a who’s who of the natural wine world, tracing the movement from early pioneers like Jules Chauvet, the “father” of the French natural wine movement, to important players on the scene like Jacques Néauport (who advises wineries such as Overnoy, Breton, Gramenon and Montpertuis, to name just a few). Legeron also fills the book with practical information on some of the less-understood aspects of natural winemaking, covering topics such as the use (or non-use) of sulfur, biodynamic preparations, oxidation versus oxidative winemaking and the differences among the many growers associations. Although opinionated, Legeron is far from crazy; while your tastes may not always line up with hers, what she’s put together here is an encouraging guide for anyone wishing to delve into the world of natural wines.
Reviewed in W&S December 2014.