Château les Arbousiers, Faugères


Château les Arbousiers in Cabrerolles is a new venture for Fabien Pujol.  His father arrived at the Château de Grézan in Laurens in 1988, and Fabien began working there in 2012.  However, there are significant differences between the two properties.   Les Arbousiers was started in 2019, with a first vintage in 2020, taking over the cellar and vineyards of the former Les Fusionnels which was run by Arielle Demets.


Fabien was looking for something small and exclusive.  The vineyards at Grézan are HVE; Arbousiers is organic.  And there is a difference of 120 hectares at Grézan as opposed to 10 for les Arbousiers.  The altitude is different and so is the atmosphere.  At Cabrerolles the vineyards are at 300 metres and Fabien described the area as very aerien, solaire.  It is all on a much more human scale.    Fabien has taken over Arielle’s spacious cellar outside Cabrerolles, with its fibre glass and stainless-steel vats.  The cellar is partially underground, making for natural insulation.   He has ten hectares, ten plots and each plot has its own vat, from which he makes two cuvées.  There is a sorting table.  He destems if necessary, and the grapes go into the vat on a moving carpet; they are not pumped.   And his press is a modern basket press.  There is a little pigeage and some remontages.  Usually the grapes are destemmed, but not always.  It depends on the vintage.  Grapes that are not destemmed give freshness, which means that most of the grapes at Grézan are not destemmed, as freshness is more of an issue in the southern part of the appellation. There is a different aromatic profile.  And there are 15 hectolitre foudres, which Fabien prefers to barriques.


2022 Sensation – 15.00€

A blend of Carignan, Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre, with more of the first two than the second two.  There is no Cinsault.   Nor any oak ageing.


Deep colour, quite rounded, perfumed fruit on nose and palate. Very gouleyant with a balancing streak of tannin.   Fabien is adamant that he does not like what he calls fruit confit, cooked fruit, but he wants fresh fruit, and this is beautifully perfumed and both supple and subtle.


2021 Revelation – 45€

Lots of Grenache, with Syrah, Mourvèdre and a little Carignan, in foudres for 12 months. Deeper colour, with black fruit, and some well-integrated oak.  It is much more full bodied than Sensation, but with similar perfume, elegant tannins and some perfumed fresh fruit.  What Fabien called le Top du Top.  It is a selection of the best plots, with freshness a key consideration.   Essentially he sells this to the restaurant trade and created Sensation as he also needed an entry level wine.


2020  Revelation– 45.00€

His first wine.   Most of the harvest went into this cuvée, whereas in 2021 he was able to be more selective.  Quite dense black fruit on the palate.  Quite rounded and sturdy with good fruit and a firm tannin streak.    Less elegant than the 2021.


Fabien described it all as an adventure that is just beginning.   He didn’t harvest in 2019 but concentrated on putting everything in order.  The vineyards were in good condition.  Fabien enthused.  I was born here.  I love the terroir, the patrimony, and the old vines.    And then he took us to see his vineyards in the hills to the west of Cabrerolles.  They are wonderfully scenic but it started to rain, so we ran for cover and promised to return in the spring.




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