La Croix de Saint Jean

Languedoc, languedoc France

La Croix de Saint Jean was established in 2004 by Michel Fabre, a grape grower and winemaker (also winemaker at Villa Baulieu). Three generations of Michel's family, his father Robert and his son Alexis, are involved in the business. The wines are aptly named the father, 'Lo Paire', and the child, 'Lo Mainatge', in Occitan to reflect this.

The Fabre family specifically selected schist, limestone and clay soils on the slopes of the Black Mountain at different altitudes (80 to 300 metres) to plant their vineyards. This north-east corner of the Minervois appellation, known as Les Causses, is slightly cooler, bringing freshness and delicate aromatics to the wines. They have 18 hectares planted with Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre and the vineyards are sustainably farmed.

'Lo Mainatge' is a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah. It is fermented in a mix of cement and stainless steel to retain its primary fruit. It is fruit forward in style and is drinking beautifully now. 'Lo Paire' is a blend of 75% Syrah,15% Grenache and 10% Mourvèdre. It is more complex and structured with 60% of the blend fermented in cement tanks and 40% fermented in oak barrels using the vinification intégrale method. This method uses special oak barrels that can be rotated during fermentation, giving the winemaker control over tannin extraction that results in a wine that is particularly smooth. Post fermentation, the wine spends a further 12 months in 225 - 400 litre oak barrels, 25% of which are new. These reds, displaying vibrant black fruits with round tannins and fresh acidity, are demonstrative of the potential of Minervois to make fine wines.

 

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