Domaine La Croix Gratiot

Languedoc, languedoc France

Owned by brothers Yves and Hugues Ricome for over 30 years, Domaine La Croix Gratiot covers 27 hectares in Montagnac in the Coteaux du Languedoc. After years of selling to the local co-operative, Yves started bottling his own wine in 2005 and bought his brother’s share of the domaine in 2009. His daughter Anaïs has now taken charge, after working for some time in New Zealand with Matt Thomson. She makes wonderfully pure, unoaked wines that reflect the potential of the local varieties with which she works.

Since 1996, the vineyard has been restructured and planted with the varieties best suited to the soil composition and microclimate. It is now under organic conversion. The Picpoul grapes are grown on a chalky plateau, where cool maritime breezes from the sea help to moderate the climate and provide the ideal conditions for the development of the variety's aromatic compounds and lively acidity. The Picpoul de Pinet is very expressive with a depth of pure stone fruit on the palate. Unusually for this part of Southern France, Anaïs makes an excellent Pinot Noir, ‘Les Zazous’, which is aromatic and elegant with floral notes of rose and violet, red cherries and a hint of spice.

An harmonious blend of Chardonnay, Viognier, Roussanne and a touch of Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, the Désir Blanc has perfumed aromatics with bright stone fruit notes, refreshing acidity and a long finish. Made from 100% Syrah, the Rouge Cerise undergoes a short maceration which produces a supple and fresh wine with a core of bright, pure red fruit.

The quality of the fruit in the 2017 vintage inspired Anaïs to make a premium red blend. ‘Le Chant des Dolia’ Rouge is a blend of 50% Mourvèdre, 30% Syrah and 20% Grenache. Dolia, the plural of the Latin word ‘dolium’, were large clay vessels (amphorae) used to store wine and oil in Ancient Rome. The grapes are vinified separately and aged for 12 months. The Mourvèdre is aged in amphorae while the Syrah and Grenache are aged in 600 litre used oak barrels. The resulting wine boasts elegant layers of plush black fruit and black pepper spice underpinned by fresh acidity, refined tannins and persistent length.

New to our list this Spring is the ‘Bréchallune’ Picpoul de Pinet. The wine is fermented in ceramic amphorae and aged on its lees after the fermentation is complete, adding a lovely texture and complexity to the finished wine.



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