Grapes, Terret, Chenin, Vermentino, Clairette
Serving: cold (6–11°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 here are direct-pressed, and fermentation kicks off in steel tanks. After a few weeks the wine is racked off its gross lees and returned primarily to tank, though 10% goes into small barrels (old). All of the varieties are vinified together except for the Terret which is a late ripener and comes much later. Lionel blends the wines in winter and returns them to the vessels for further aging. The wine is bottled after 6 months, unfined unfiltered and zero additions.