Domaine Ricardelle de Lautrec
I came across Domaine Ricardelle de Lautrec for the first time earlier this year at a tasting of wines from Carte Blanche with their Pinot Noir rosé so I was very pleased to have an opportunity to taste more of their range. They have 50 hectares, around the village of Coursan, near Narbonne, planted with ten different varieties namely Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Viognier, Muscat à petits grains, Colombard, and for red wines Pinot Noir, Syrah, Caladoc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wines are all IGP Pays d’Oc and the vineyards are organic, moving towards biodynamic viticulture, with minimum use of sulphur in the cellar. The wines were sold en vrac until the mid-2000s and then Lionel and Cathy Boutié decided to start bottling their wines. And why the name? The vineyards originally belonged to Lautrec family, with connections with a large estate on La Clape, not to mention the painter, Toulouse Lautrec, and Ricardelle means bonnes terres, or good land. The vineyards are on the old river bed of the Aude.
2021 Chardonnay – 8.50€
A simple vinification in stainless steel, with some fresh fruit, and a rounded palate with good acidity. They make four different Chardonnays, an oak aged wine, a natural wine with no added sulphur and a Pet Net.
2020 Sauvignon Blanc – 8,50€
Light Sauvignon fruit on nose and palate with good varietal character. Nicely rounded with some pithy notes and fresh acidity.
Pinot Noir rosé – 8.50€
Pressurage direct. Light colour with a hint of orange pink. Nicely rounded nose with a fresh palate. And elegant raspberry fruit.
2020 Julille – 9.00€
A blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Merlot. Quite light colour. Each grape variety is vinified separately and blended just before bottling. A rounded nose and palate. Quite easy drinking but I thought it a bit contrived. And neither one grape or the other.
2021 Pinot Noir – 8.50€
Traditional vinification. Light colour light fruit. Quite supple and easy. A light weight palate with a dry finish.
2020 Pinot Noir Nature – 14.00€
No SO2. Carbonic maceration. They justify the big price difference with the previous wine as so much more work is involved. Fermentation and ageing in concrete vats. And it did have more character than the previous wine, with fragrant fresh fruit on both nose and palate. Very appealing.
2021 PétNat Chardonnay – 12.00€
Light colour. The bubbles faded quite quickly, with a rounded palate and a touch of honey. A nice finale to the tasting.