If wines were animal species, Philippe Gayral’s range would include the kakapo, the Bactrian camel and Spix’s macaw. All are critically endangered. Perhaps, though, the rare African ass is a better analogy. Like the magical but shrinking wild ass’s skin of Balzac’s 1831 novel Peau de Chagrin, the more success Gayral has with his wines, the fewer remain for him to sell.
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