Grange des Pères rouge
The vineyard of Grange des Pères is in an unlikely place. Close to the village of Aniane the plot of land was limestone with some clay underneath at 300 meter height. It needs dynamite and bulldozing to make the poor soil ready for vines. Laurent Vaillé cultivated this land in 1989 and placed Cabernet Sauvignon vines on this land from Domaine Trévallon in the Provence (where he used to work) and from Gérard Chave in the burgundy he bought Syrah, Marsanne and Mourvèdre vines. The land was already owned by his family but largely not used for winemaking. Because of the use of Cabernet Sauvignon the wine is classified as an IGP.
The wine is a combination of Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cabernet Sauvignon and Counoise. He also makes a white made of Roussanne, Marsanne and Chardonnay but that wine is extremely difficult to find, even more difficult than his red. The wine speaks for itself and that is why he has no website and rarely allows visitors on his domain. Of course, even without this marketing alle the wine is sold long before it is bottled. The land is quite close to Mas Daumas Gassac, another visionary that early on saw the potential of this terrain in the Languedoc. If ever someone needs proof that the Languedoc can be much more than just being the supplier of large quantities of bulk wine, proof is here. He works with low yields of 20Hl/Ha.
The wine is fermented in steel tanks and than aged separately by grape type in barriques for 24 months on their lees. Assembly is done just before bottling.
And than the wine. This is really an exceptional wine. I tasted the 2012 (Summer 2017) as well as the 2014 (Februari 2018). the fragrance of the wine is incredibly delicate but at the same time overpowering. Violets, bit of spice and elegant berries. This is the kind of wine where I am hesitant to start drinking and just keep enjoying sniffs that are promising the reward when drinking. On the palate it is an intriguing mix between the structure of the Cabernet Sauvignon, the elegance of the Syrah and the more edgy taste of the Mourvèdre that makes it so much more interesting than many others. the taste lots of fresh fruit but in a mature way, some spice and mint in the end and of course a long lingering aftertaste. Tannins are round and pleasant. It is a wine that needs to be sipped slowly and attentively with long periods of sniffing in between. RATING: 95
REGION: Languedoc, Terrasses du Larzac. A region with lots of hills, dry with lots of hard rock and a mountainous climate.
VINEYARD: Biodynamic/Organic farming without interest in certification. 11 Ha (10 red) and 300 meter high.
GRAPES: Syrah (40%), Mourvèdre (40%), Cabernet Sauvignon (10%), Counoise (10%)
CELLAR: Destemmed, 1/3 new oak and aged in Barrique on the lees for 24 months. Assembly before botteling, no filtration.