Grapes, Carignan, Syrah Cinsault, Grenache
Serving: chilled (12–16°C)
About: Lionel Maurel farms quite a few small plots of the traditional Languedoc grapes: Syrah, Carignan, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Grenache, Terret, Clairette, as well as some Vermentino and Chenin. The soils are worked minimally, and Lionel uses various natural means of increasing microbial life and maintaining healthy soils. This includes compost/ manure, teas, and oils. The vines have been certified organic since 2012 but he has worked them that way since 2004. The climate is very dry and hot, but Lionel manages to achieve an impressive lightness and delicate touch in his wines that sets them apart in the region.
The grapes are destemmed, and the Syrah and Cinsault are vinified together whilst the Carignan is done separately as it’s picked later. Macerations are done in an ‘infusion’ style, with no punchdowns for a very gentle extraction. After pressing and blending, the wine is transferred to steel tanks with a small amount (15%) going into old barrels. Elevage is 12 months. Tiny sulphite addition only at bottling.