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le Blanc des Cabanes

Underwater exploration

There are those who play Mozart in the barrel cellar, those who play music in the vineyards. And there are those who rock their wines with the tides. Franck Labeyrie is one of them, convinced of the influence of the tides, the depth, the absence of oxygen and the minute luminosity on the ageing of the wines.

Franck Labeyrie

Franck Labeyrie comes from a long lineage of winegrowers. He grew up at Château du Coureau in the Graves area. It was there that he made his first steps before trying the solo experience at Château de Lugey. Franck Labeyrie is a fighter, a dreamer, an explorer at the same time. He is one of those who gives himself the means to follow his instinct, his desires, his convictions.

Like many people around Bordeaux, he spent his summers in the Arcachon basin between Dune du Pyla, Île aux Oiseaux and the oyster farms. And while discussing with a friend oyster farmer about the benefits of deep water on oyster breeding, an idea came up to him. As a wine grower at heart, well informed, he remembered that some of the bottles found under sea keep their qualities even 200 years later.

He was inspired by the oyster immersion technique. In 2008, the first bottles were placed in deep water. The experiment is scientifically monitored. The wines obtained are compared with those that have been aged traditionally in vats. The tests were amazing. The corks did not suffer, the bottles were intact but adorned with a navy dress made of shells and seaweed. The Blanc des Cabanes (like the famous traditional stilt cabins) was born. In 2015, it was followed by the Rouge des Cabanes.

Franck Labeyrie is the only winegrower to own a concession among oyster farmers. Every year, in January, 15,000 bottles are immersed 10 metres below the surface in closed boxes under oyster traps. The White stays there for 6 months, the Red for 12 months.

“It's not just an original cuvee in the concept, it's also a specific taste,” explains Franck Labeyrie. In the absence of oxygen, no oxidation. On the other hand, there are exchanges with the marine environment and when tasted the wines unveils iodized and toasted notes in the white and an early harmonization in the red.

Now specialized in the maturing of wines in the natural environment, Franck Labeyrie continues to explore the field of possibilities and launched snow wine in 2018. Wines matured at an altitude of 2,400 m under 5 m of snow. An experiment whose first results seem conclusive at the tasting.

Sylvia van der Velden


At tasting

Le Blanc des Cabanes 2017, Graves
Cépages : Sauvignon, Sémillon

Very elegant, generous and opulent nose on white flowers (lilies) and fresh butter. Ample, long, lively and dynamic on the palate, it reveals a superb iodine, mineral and saline touch that brings a finish of great elegance and finesse. Certainly a beautiful discovery. Pairing: a lobster tartar with beluga black pearls.


Le Rouge des Cabanes 2016, Graves
Cépages : Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon

Bright garnet colour. Very fine and elegant nose, distinguished, with superb aromas of red and black fruits and a hint of iodine. Very pleasant and gourmet attack with a beautiful minerality. We find the same aromas as on the nose. Superb finish on salinity. Pairing: a rack of lamb with ceps.