North of Beziers, in the Languedoc, the countryside becomes wild and beautiful in the area around Saint-Chinian. The 60 hectare property of Clos Bagatelle is located on the outskirts of the town and wine has been produced here for nearly 400 years.
The domaine had been passed from mother to daughter for five generations when Marie-Françoise, the mother of the current owners, took over the property and set about renovating the vineyard. New vines were planted, two new cellars were installed alongside the 18th century original and she was the first to extend the limits of the estate by purchasing land in the tiny neighbouring Muscat appellation of Saint-Jean-de-Minervois. During a period when few people believed that Languedoc wines could improve with time, she set about crafting age worthy wines to lay down.
Since 1995, the next generation, Christine Deleuze and her brother Luc Simon, have continued the family tradition; adding the Donnadieu and Assignan vineyards to the family holdings and producing wines of great character. Everything is hand-picked and sorted and there is minimal intervention in the vineyard. Christine, dynamic and clearly passionate about her wines, is working hard to increase the sustainability of winemaking at Clos Bagatelle.
Composed of Syrah 30%, Grenache Noir 30%, Carignan 30% and Mouvedre 10%. Situated 50kms north of the Mediterranean, Clos Bagatelle is in the foothills of the Caroux and Espinouse mountains. Whilst the estate's geologically diverse range of soils includes schist, limestone and sandstone, this cuvée is the produce solely of limestone. The old Carignan and Grenache vines, planted on arid soils, are trained en gobelet. The Syrah and Mourvèdre vines are more recent as they were planted in the 1970s.
All grapes are handpicked and destemmed and the varieties are each fermented separately - 10 days for the Carignan and 35 for the Mourvèdre - with ageing in large oak casks.
A fresh, herby, garrigue nose is followed by full-flavoured and intense pallet of typically southern flavours. Equal measures of Syrah, Carignan and Grenache and a dash of Mouvedre result in a vibrant red with excellent balance and a generous, gentle structure.
This is a hearty southern red that will shine alongside a cassoulet, a spicy bolognese or a good pizza.