La Grange de Bouys - what's new?

How wonderful to be back in a wine cellar again.  We drove down to our Languedoc house in the middle of July and our first cellar visit was to our neighbours just outside our village at La Grange de Bouys.  Stéphane and Florence Monmousseau have featured in this blog on previous occasions.

First we went to have a look at Stéphane’s grafted vines, for his new cuvée le Médiéval.   You lose just one year of production; the first year with the new variety the vine is generous as though it is making up for the previous year’s loss, and then it calms down.    Then the high summer temperatures drove us inside to a cool cellar for tasting.

2019 Florence Rosé,  Vin de France - 9€
20% Syrah with 80% Grenache Blanc.  Quite simply 20 boxes of one and 80 boxes of the other go into the press.  Stéphane is adamant that he does not want to do a charcoal fining to obtain the elusive pale colour of a Provence rosé; he prefers to blend white with red grapes.  The Syrah was picked a day earlier than the Grenache Blanc.  And the wine is indeed a very pretty colour, a pale salmon colour, with a ripe, rounded nose and a fresh dry palate, indeed much drier than the nose would lead you to expect. but with some substance.  Pronounced acidity balanced with fresh fruit.

2018 Confucius, AC Languedoc - 16.00€
A blend of  80% Grenache Blanc with 20% Clairette, fermented à la bourguignonne, with an élevage on lees in 600 litre demi-muids from the Austrian cooper, Stockinger, for 75% of the wine.  Blended in February.  A little colour, Quite a rounded nose and a nicely textured palate.  A hint of vanilla from the oak.  Good weight, length and balancing acidity.

2016 Carignan, Vin de France - 12.00€
1.5 hectares of old Carignan gives Stéphane just 5000 bottles.  The blend includes 15% Syrah, but that does not need to be mentioned on the label.  Only in stainless steel tank.  Stéphane does not like Carignan in wood, and I am not sure that I do either.   A peppery, spicy note from the Syrah balanced with some fresh red fruit and a nice streak of lively tannin.   The rusticity of Carignan with a satisfying freshness on the finish.

2018 St Andrieu, Pézenas - 15€
45% each of Syrah and Grenache, with 10% Cinsault.  25% in barrel.  Good colour.  Ripe spicy black fruit; rounded and ripe. A more silky palate than the Carignan, with a touch of oak.  Rich and concentrated.

Apparently Pézenas could have acquired an appellation communale without the need to mention Languedoc on the label, but the cooperatives account for 70% of the production of the appellation and they adamantly refused to accept the requirement to give up using weedkiller and instead plough between the rows.  Words failed me.   We were not even talking about having to buy an intercep to work between the vines,  Stéphane adamantly refuses to get involved in local wine politics - how wise…..….

2019 Médiéval, Vin de France - 16.50€
Just 2000 bottles.  From the grafted vines.  45% Aspiran, with Morastel, Terret Noir, Aramon, Cinsault and Oeillade.   Also 50 pieds of Mourvèdre.  We had a discussion about the age of the vines.  Here is a conundrum.  The roots are 16 year old Syrah; the buds came from 80 year old vines and they were grafted two years ago.  So how old are they?   A quarter of the wine is kept in 500 litres barrels for  five months.  Next year Stéphane would like to age it for longer.

The vines ripen late; the grapes were picked ten days after the Carignan, on 15th September,  and the wine is a modest 12 degrees.   Medium young colour.  Very fresh red fruit on both nose and palate.   Lots of nuances from the different cépages.   Lovely freshness combined with spice from the garrigues.  The Morastel gives pepperiness and the Aspiran balance.   Aspiran disappeared from the region as it does not produce enough alcohol or a high enough yield and the cooperatives didn’t like it.   A fresh speak of tannin.   Stéphane’s oenologist refers to this wine as an UFO, in French, Un Objet Volant Non Identifié!

2018 Le Fût Oublié, Vin de France - 20€
From both Grenache Noir and Grenache Blanc.  Quite a light colour.  Fresh stony nose.  Some cherry fruit.  Medium weight. Nice freshness with red fruit.  Picked a little early, and aged for two years - a forgotten barrel from 2018.

And this year Stéphane will make a Médiéval Blanc from Aspiran Gris, Aramon Gris, Clairette, Terret Gris and Blanc and Picpoul.   I can’t wait to try it this time next year.  


Dionysus said…
Thanks for a great write up as always. You said 50 pieds of Mourvedre. Pieds as in a starter yeast? Sorry I am a bit confused.

pied as in vine plant. You count the number of vines or pieds per hectare.

And yes pied de cave is the starter yeast.
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