Our Minervois wine plants
Our Minervois wine plants
Carignan, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Maccabeu
The Carignan is very old. It was born in the region and is now a grand-father : it can adapt to any excess from the Languedocian climate. Its limited yield and its complexity due to old age have made it one of the basis of the red blends of AOC Minervois.
Syrah : It is a great choice for Château La Grave as it adapts well to the gravel soil. It ripens early, its extensive foliage protects it from the drought. Therefore it is seldom that we encounter trouble with this variety (the risks of bad weather generally occur after we harvested it). It produces also excellent rosé - with the bleeding technique of removing juice from the vat of the red wine, which stand out for their fruit and their fineness. Together with the Grenache, Shiraz constitutes one third of the red varieties.
Grenache : We can now plant them safely : 25 years ago it was a wine makers gamble to use it however improvements made to the perspective of this variety have lessened greatly the risks of usage. It is an indigenous variety which gives the Minervois character. It makes up one third of the red varieties
Mourvèdre : Two beautiful plots were selected to plant Mourvedre 25 years ago. They contain warm and poor soils. They are well orientated. Despite that the Mourvedre is a variety that is very hard to look after they have now reached a good potential. They are able to give the high quality we expect every year. The first good vintage was when the plant stabilised its yield to 35hl/ha. This variety is comparable to the Grenache. Both have late ripening and don't give any interesting result under 13°. Both like sun, heat and maturity. Age consistently improves it. It is too concentrated for making rosé wines.
Château La Grave is also known for being a good land for white wines. In contrast with the warm and arid zones of the red varieties, the soils for the whites are located in cold areas. They are hardly more acid than the average but this slight gap makes all the difference. They cover 15 % of the all property whereas they make 2% of the whole white varieties of the region.
Maccabeu Our main white grape variety is The Maccabeu. I t is extremely well adapted to the soil. The vineyards are older than 70 years old, which ensures a regular quality every year. Each vintage has its own character and yet produces a regular high quality in that we use it for our top range wines : The "Privilège". And for The Expression range it gives a solid structure.
The oldest vines make the Privilege : a full and rich wine with fruit aromas. Blended to the white Grenache, it gives an harmony of citrus and flowers. The other Macabeu vineyards, slightly younger, are used in the "Privilège" for their balance of simplicity, purity and complexity. The blends with the white Grenache and the Vermentino add vivacity and freshness to make a wine elegant and neat. We could call the Macabeu the white Mourvedre for it requires a work which gets revealed only years later. 15 years are necessary before it starts blooming, whereas the Vermentino and Grenache only need 5 years. One must deserve this variety, cultivate it for long, wait patiently, grow old with it, and lastly, see it blossom… It does not correspond to the modern way of living, but it worth the pain ! It is the originality of the Château La Grave white wines.