La Grange de Bouys. An update.
I always try and visit Stéphane Monmousseau at La Grange de Boys in my Languedoc village for a tasting at least once a year, to see how things are progressing. For a start, he made just two wines from his first harvest in 2015; in 2020 he made seven wines. There should have been eight as he did not enough grapes to make any rosé. l
First we went for a walk through his nearest vineyards to look at the grafted vines of old varieties like Aspiran and Terret, Aramon and Oeillade. And then back at the cellar, Stéphane began opening bottles.
Most of Stéphane’s wines are Vin de France - appellations and even IGP are too complicated…….
2020 Epicure, Grenache Blanc - 12.00€
A pure Grenache Blanc. I thought there was a touch of oak, but no….. There is a lovely balanced of acidity with some stony, mineral fruit and a little weight. Very good balance and an incisive finish.
2020 Confucius -16.00€
80% Grenache Blanc with 20% Clairette fermented in a Stockinger barrel. A little colour. It contrasts with Epicure in that it has more weight and texture and is quite firm and round, with some well-integrated elegant oak. Structured with very good acidity. Nicely balanced. Stockinger use both Austrian and Hungarian oak and season their wood for four years, as opposed to the two or three years of most French coopers.
2019 Carignan Vieilles Vignes - 12.00€
with 15% Syrah. A plot of 65 year vines. No oak. Deep colour. Quite a firm nose with red fruit. Quite fleshy and rounded with a peppery note and a streak of freshness. An appealing example of Carignan.
2018 St Andrieu, AOP Pézenas - 15.00€
45% each of Syrah and Grenache with 10% Cinsaut. One third of the wine is aged in French oak.
Deep young colour. Firm peppery nose - very fragrant. Medium weight. Peppery fruit on the palate, with some supple tannins and some fleshiness from the Grenache.
2020 le Médiéval - 16.00€
What Stéphane called le vrai, the real Languedoc, made from grape varieties that were considered to be too light and too low in alcohol, which disappeared, often with phylloxera. Light red in colour, with fresh red fruit on the nose. Medium weight. Elegant tannins; with fragrant red fruit and a fresh finish. Stéphane asked where we would place it in a blind wine tasting, and Saumur seemed the best answer.
2019 Piquepoul Noir, Pectore - 16.00€
90% Piquepoul with 10% of the blend of le Médiéval. Medium colour. A little oak élevage. Fresh peppery fruit on both nose and palate with just a hint of oak. Very juicy. Red cherries with some acidity. Juicy freshness on the finish. Very appealing and refreshing.
2019 Le Fut Oublié - 20€
Pure Grenache Noir. Quite light colour and on the palate, quite rounded and ripe with hints of cherry liqueur and an elegant finish. The wine has spent 12 months in a Stockinger barrel, giving it a nicely rounded palate.
Stéphane finished his 2021 harvest relatively early compared to some of his colleagues and is very happy with the quality, and also the quantity. He escaped any serious frost damage.