Sebastien Dervieux (AKA ‘Babass) was, like so many of our much adored and admired vignerons, a musician before finding his way into wine.
He has been growing wine in the Loire valley for over twenty years and has earned a well-respected place amongst some of the ‘great names’ of natural wine in the region, including Olivier Cousin, Jean-Pierre Robinot and Claude Courtois.
In 2011 he left Domaine des Griottes where he’d worked with Pat Lesplats since 2000 and struck out on his own with Les Vignes de Babass.
Creating his own domaine, he farms and vinifies without use of sulphur or any other additives, working with cabernet franc, grolleau and chenin blanc on just under three hectares.
A central figure on the Loire salon circuit, over the years Babass has created a dynamic circle, sharing knowledge, experience, music and community. It’s not an uncommon thing to visit him and Agnes in the cellar and for friends such as Damien Bureau, Adrien de Mello, JC Garnier, François Blanchard or Jerôme Lambert to drop by, talk about the vintage, share a bottle and a laugh or two.
Just south of Anjou, Babass and his partner Agnes Mallet produce wines of incredible purity and spirit, on terroir predominantly of schist and clay.
Babass is a true farmer, spending most of his time in the vineyard and then the cellar, eschewing intervention and championing observation and contemplation, preferring to let the wines work and speak for themselves.
Though he himself has admitted in the past that there was some wildness and variability in his cuvees, they now consistently express a sense of place, personality, and searing honesty to match the man himself.