La Grange de Bouys

It has to be said that my home village of Roujan is really not known for the quality of its wines.  The neighbouring villages of Caux and Gabian are so much more successful, while Roujan is dominated by its cooperative.  But that may all be about to change.  I spent last Thursday morning tasting with Florence and Stéphane Monmousseau from La Grange de Bouys.  They are newcomers to the village; Stéphane has escaped from the rat race of the financial world  in Paris and as well as buying a house, they have bought vineyards and last year made their very first wines, with the help of a local oenologist, Jean Natoli.  

They made two wines from just two hectares, and in 2015 they will make three wines from three hectares, which are all farmed organically.   Their property still retains the wonderful old-fashioned cellar of the Languedoc, with enormous awe-inspiring oak foudres.  Stephane’s stainless steel vats are dwarfed beside them.  This year they used a small basket press; next year they are buying a pneumatic press.  Tasting with Stéphane, you sense his excitement about his new career, and at supper recently, with some young local vignerons, he was very chuffed to be the oldest jeune vigneron at the table.  This is an established category in France, depending not only on your age, but also on your harvest tally.    

2014 Carignan Vieilles Vignes, Pays de l’Hérault – 10.00€
This includes 6% Grenache Noir, and the Carignan is 40 years old.  That is not especially old for Carignan, but there are no specific rules about the age of old vines.   Élevage in stainless steel.  Medium colour.  Some lightly peppery red fruit, cherries, with some fresh tannins.  Quite firm rustic fruit; very Carignan.  Youthful and elegant.   And I would never have thought it was 15˚.  For this 2014 Stéphane destalked the grapes and the wine spent ten days on the skins; in 2015 he plans to try a carbonic maceration.  And the yield was a miserly 5 hl/ha.   He made just 750 cases. 

2014 Cuvée St. Andrieu, Pays de l’Hérault – 15.00€
Mainly Syrah, with some Cinsaut, Carignan and Grenache.  It could be an appellation, but Stéphane did not get his head round the paper work in time.   Élevage in stainless steel tank.  Blended on 12th February and bottled on 13th May.  15˚.  Good colour.  Firm dry cherry fruit, a peppery note and a certain freshness.  Vibrant with rich spiciness and intensive flavours.  Quite firm tannins, so it will age well.   A long finish with depth and complexity and lots of potential.  If you can make that the first time you try your hand at wine making, you will go far.  Watch this space!


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