Domaine de Favas at the 2023 Occitanie tasting
I tasted the wines from Domaine de Favas at the Occitanie tasting last autumn. The estate is new to me. It is situated in a hamlet by the village of Saint Bauzille de Montmel, to the west of Sommières. Samuel Masse said that his family had been producing wine since 1468, and he was the 22nd generation. His father, grandfather and even great-grandfather had been members of the village coop but he and his brother, Geoffrey, had decided to take five hectares out of the coop, including some 90 year old Grenache Blanc vines, and to make their own wine. The vineyards are farmed organically. And they are not just making wine; they also have kunekune pigs. Kunekune in Maori apparently means round and fat!
They make a range of five wines, all AOP Languedoc
2021 Domaine de Favas Blanc – 9.50€
A blend of 60% Grenache Blanc and 40% Roussanne.
Light colour. Nicely rounded on the nose. The palate was textured, with some weight and rounded fruit, with a lightly bitter finish, un joli amer.
2021 Rosé – 8.50€
A blend of Grenache Noir, with 20% Syrah. Very pale colour. A firm fresh nose and some dry raspberry fruit on the palate with a fresh finish. 12.5°, so not too heavy.
2011 Rouge – 10.50€
A blend of 80% Grenache Noir with 20% Syrah. The Grenache Noir comes from 80-year-old vines, and the Syrah 35-year-old vines. Light red colour. Some rounded cherry liqueur fruit, typical of Grenache. Nicely textured with good mouthfeel. Samuel explained that they go through the vineyard three times at harvest, over three weeks. They are looking for ripe fruit with a fresh lift on the finish.
2020 la Réale – 15.50€
Another blend of Grenache Noir and Syrah. Some of the Syrah was vinified by carbonic maceration. 80% of the wine is aged in tank, 15% in amphora and 5% in barrel. And the name la Réale or royal, refers to the royal galleys of Louis XIV and a reference to the history of the Huguenots who came to the south. Two of Samuel’s ancestors were sent to work in the galleys. The wine has more depth and weight than the previous wine, with some appealing spice and fruit on the nose and palate. Nicely balanced and drinking beautifully.
2019 Origine – 23.50€
A blend of Grenache Noir and Syrah, with 24 months ageing, 40% in new oak barrels and 40% in amphora. The colour is fairly light, typical of Grenache, but there is more depth of the palate, with some well-integrated oak. However, you do notice the alcohol on the finish at a heady 15°
They made their first wines in 2018 and I think they have made a good start, with some very appealing wines.