I first tasted wine from the Minervois project of top Burgundy winemakers Anne Gros and Jean Paul Tollot (of Tollot-Beau) 6 years ago thanks to importer/retail store North Berkeley Wine Merchants. I was so excited with their top 100% Carignan wine Les Carretals that I gave it my highest rating. La Ciaude continues the excitement.
Terroir vs. Finances: Burgundy in Minervois
The Domaine describes their ‘La Ciaude’ as their “terroir” wine in limestone soils known as “Agel”. It is a blend of 12 year old Grenache, 25 year old Syrah, 50 year old Carignan and centenarian Carignan planted in 1904.
Anne Gros and Mr. Tollot put considerable resources into their Minervois project – a completely new winery adhering to ecological principles built from scratch and a bevy of top quality Burgundy barrels for ageing their wines.
The winery’s home village of Les Cazelles is one of the highest in Minervois at 220 metres above sea level. This means cooler than usual temperatures and higher than typical acidity for the Languedoc.
Sadly these wines have not sold well. It seems as though the clientelle for upper-echelon Burgundy have little interest in these wines from a more stereotypically prosaic region. This is sad given how good these wines are. Now that they are available in BC I hope more discover the quality, elegance and value of these superb Minervois. However, given the financial difficulties, I am not sure if this project will survive.
2008 was the Domaine’s first vintage. La Ciaude is aged 80% in oak and 20% in steel and is a fascinating amalgam of very Minervois-like fruit, but a Burgundian ease and elegance. Expect black berry fruits, minerals, and chalky tannin. It has aged quite well. This is delicious and versatile with pastas, smoked meats, and game.
$48 at Marquis Wine Cellars