Domaine la Chapelle Saint-Mathieu
Domaine la Chapelle Saint-Mathieu is a newly developed estate outside Aniane, and an unusual example of interest from Roussillon in the Languedoc. Jean-Emmanuel Parcé of Domaine de la Rectorie in Banyuls started working in the family business in 2010, after studying viticulture and winemaking at Carcassonne and spending time in Paris. And as well as producing a diverse range of both vin sec and Vin Doux, Naturel in Roussillon, with the help of his Argentinian winemaker, Emilio Perez, he has also developed an estate in Aniane, Domaine la Chapelle Saint-Mathieu. He has cleared and planted ten hectares of garrigues, several different plots, all in Aniane apart from the one in the neighbouring village of Puéchabon. The choice of grape varieties was determined by a desire to try varieties which they did not normally use in Banyuls. Jean-Emmanuel enthused, observing that he has always liked the wines of Aniane as they have more finesse than those of Roussillon. And I was lucky enough to be sent samples of the first wines, a pair of reds and a pair of whites.
2020 Jourde, Pays de l’Hérault Blanc – 15.00€
An intriguing blend of 20% Chenin Blanc, 30% Roussanne, 35% Grenache Blanc, 5% Grenache Gris and 10% Clairette. The Grenache Gris and the Roussanne were planted in 2017, and the others in 2018. Fermented in barrel, with seven months élevage and regular bâtonnage.
A little colour. Quite a rounded nose and lightly buttery palate. Good texture and mouthfeel with satisfying depth of flavour and plenty of nuances developing in the glass. Good balancing acidity. Youthful with plenty of ageing potential. 13.5°
2019 La Capella Blanc, Vin de France – 30.00€
A blend of Roussanne and Grenache Blanc. Fermented in oak, with eight months élevage and regular bâtonnage.
Quite a deep colour. I originally thought it might have been an orange wine with some skin contact, but they assured me not, offering by way of explanation the small size of the berries from very young vines. As they did not yet have a vinification cellar in Aniane, the grapes had a two-hour journey to Banyuls in a refrigerated lorry, and that may also have affected the colour. A cellar was built in time for the 2020 vintage.
A firm nose, with more acidity on the palate. Quite refreshing juicy fruit. Nicely structured with a touch of tannin. Well balanced. And intriguingly original. 13°
2019 Jourde, Vin de France – 15.00€
A blend of 40% Grenache Noir, 40% Syrah and 20% Carignan. Destemmed. 9 months élevage in barrel.
Deep colour. Good fruit on the nose. Ripe and opulent with some oak. And on the palate ripe fleshy fruit, with some peppery and a streak of tannin. Beginning to drink well, though with some ageing potential. 14°
2019 La Chapelle St Mathieu, Vin de France – 30.00€
A blend of 75% Mourvèdre, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Carignan. Handpicked and destemmed and blended after 14 months élevage in barriques.
Deep colour. Firm cassis on the nose, with the impact of the Cabernet, and on the palate, more black fruit, balanced nicely with youthful tannins and a note of freshness from the Carignan. Finely crafted but the Cabernet Sauvignon adds a note that is not so southern, balanced by some spice from the Mourvèdre. The oak is still quite apparent in the young wine. And I am guessing that Mas de Daumas Gassac may well have been the inspiration for the Cabernet Sauvignon. 13°
In short, a very good start and it will be intriguing to see how the estate develops and the wine evolves.