Clos du Gravillas
Clos du Gravillas was founded in 1996 by John and Nicole Bojanowski, a Franco-American couple. The estate enjoys a stunning and unique location: inside the Parc Naturel de Haut Languedoc on 8 hectares of crushed, white limestone gravel sitting atop a 1000 foot-high plateau, surrounded by Mediterranean brush and scrub oak. The domaine is certified organic (Ecocert) and the vineyards are worked with care for the preservation of soil life. Everything here is done by hand: weeding, leaf-removal, bunch thinning, and rigorous field-sorting allow them to bring in pristine quality fruit. Pickers throw any grapes not good enough to eat on the ground. In the cellar the wines are ushered along in as naturally a manner as possible: native yeasts, no acid or water adjustments, no enzymes or additions beyond a tiny bit of SO2 at bottling. The first thing one notices with Gravillas’ wines are a freshness seldom seen in an area where many wines top 15 or 16% alcohol; this is accomplished both through the cooling winds that come down from the mountains as well as a decision to pick at lower Brix to maintain balance. John and Nicole’s passion is for local varieties from their corner of the Languedoc, particularly for Carignan, the grape they champion most strongly. With their head-trained, old-vine Carignan plot, planted in 1911, they’re creating benchmark wines showing the incredible potential of the Carignan grape when it’s treated properly. They’ve added almost a hectare of Terret Gris, a seldom seen indigenous grape, and also have plantings of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Macabeo as well as grapes like Syrah and Cabernet.
“An almost Burgundian precision and elegance, with a natural, unadorned purity to the fruit. This is the sort of southern French red that I love.” –Jamie Goode of wineanorak.com
Carignan ‘Lo Vielh’
Certified Organic. From the oldest vines on the estate, Carignan vines planted in 1911 that Gravillas saved from being ripped out. Extremely rocky white limestone soils on a high plateau at 300 meters above sea level. Triage done in the vineyard & hand-harvesting. Stemmed and foot-crushed, left on the skin 6 weeks with daily pigeage. Native yeast with no additions besides minimal sulfur. 24 months on lees: 12 in steel and 12 in used 400 liter French oak barrels. 208 cs produced
Le Cailloux de Grillons
Varietal: Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Terret Gris, Counoise, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Cinsault
Certified Organic. 35% Syrah, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Carignan, 15% Cinsault, 5% Terret Gris, 5% Counoise, 5% Mourvedre, 5% Grenache. Extremely rocky white limestone soils on a high plateau at 300 meters above sea level. Triage done in the vineyard & hand-harvesting. Destemming and gentle pigeage (foot crushing). Native yeasts, minimal sulfur. A quick fermentation and aging in stainless steel with racking only before bottling gives this wine a lively, fresh character.
Minervois Blanc L’Inattendu
Varietal: Grenache Blanc,Macabeo
Certified Organic. 85% Grenache Blanc, 15% Macabeu. Extremely rocky white limestone soils on a high plateau at 300 meters above sea level. Triage done in the vineyard & hand-harvesting. Native yeasts, no additions besides minimal sulfur. Fermented and aged 11 months on the lees in 500L Austrian barrels. 250 cs produced.
Minervois Rendez-Vous Sur La Lune
Certified Organic. 40% Carignan, 40% Syrah, 20% Grenache grown in extremely rocky white limestone soils of Cazelles at an altitude of over 800 ft. The Carignan comes 2 plots: one planted in 1972 and the other planted in 1944. The Syrah comes from vines planted in the 1980s. Hand-harvested and sorted before being fermented in stainless steel with native yeast. Aged for 12 months in tank, bottled with minimal sulfur, and aged another 6 months in bottle before release. Approx 660 cs produced.
Muscat de Saint-Jean de Minervois Douce Providence
Varietal: Muscat Blanc à Petit Grain
Color: Vin doux naturel
Certified organic. 100% Muscat Blanc a Petit Grains (which has been growing in the Languedoc for over 1000 years) grown on extremely rocky white limestone soils at an altitude of 1000 ft. Hand-harvested in small lug bins and fermented with native yeasts. This is the most famous & traditional wine of Gravillas’ village. As a vin doux naturel, the fermentation is arrested with neutral grape spirit, thus preserving the sugar (approx. 125 g/l) and bringing the final alcohol level to 15%. 333 cs produced.