LES PETITES MISES
Macabeu from an eighty year old parcel planted over fine, silty soils down by the river, with a touch of Bourboulenc. The grapes were destemmed and fermented on the skins for a week, before being pressed off to glass demijohns until June. The name says it all here, the wine is a gorgeous shade of gold and displays delicate notes of almond, eucalypt and herbs. Compact and elegant, its firm tannins soften with air, revealing a complex wine where every little thing is in place.
Nathalie Guillevic and Etienne Granier farm four hectares of vines hidden amongst woodlands in Quarante, a tiny village northwest of Beziers in the Hérault. Having lived for many years in both Provence and the Ardèche, the two developed an interest in the kind of wines we love and in 2017 decided to settle here, drawn to the region because of its natural beauty, grape varieties and terroir.
The vines are planted in gobelet over clay and limestone. The oldest are over a hundred years old and have been farmed organically for almost thirty years. The two work with a real attention to detail in the vineyards, which are treated only with a little copper, sulphur, herbal teas and essential oils.
In the cave their approach is inspired and unique. The grapes are harvested early in the morning, destemmed by hand in the afternoon and fermented in large old oak casks of five hundred litres. Once fermentation is finished, they are given a very gentle press to fifty four litre glass demijohns where they rest for up to two years. When the wines are ready they are bottled by gravity with no additions.
Nathalie and Etienne’s wines have a rare sense of clarity and focus. Built on the backbone of pristine fruit, they are strikingly pure, offering a beautiful vision of grape and place.