Domaine D’Aupilhac AOC Languedoc Montpeyroux Cuvee Aupilhac Rouge 2018

Type: Red
Country: France
Region: Languedoc
Grape Variety: 37% Mourvedre, 33% Carignan, 15% Syrah, 10% Grenache, 5% Cinsault
Alcohol Percentage: 14%
Viticulture: Biodynamic, Certified Organic

Climate: Mediterranean climate with hot summers and cool winters
Terroir: Average age of vines is 35 years old. Grows on a limestone, clay, scree and blue marl rich soilbed
Ageing: Grapes macerate for 15-30 days, with frequent pump-overs. Wine is then aged in barrel for 20 months

Color: Dark garnet
Nose: Aromas of red fruits, cherries, spices, liquorice evolving to scents of fresh undergrowth, forest moss, morels
Palate: Captivating on the palate with notes of thyme, rosemary and black pepper

About the Winery: Three generations of Fadats have farmed the large, 18 hectare lieu-dit (geographical area) known as Aupilhac, in the village of Montpeyroux, across the river Hérault from Daumas Gassac and Grange des Pères. While the Fadats have farmed this land since the nineteenth century, and the vineyards date even further back to the time of the Romans, it was not until 1989 that Sylvain Fadat, finally registered the Domaine as an independent vigneron.

Domaine d’Aupilhac is special for many reasons. Nestled below the ruins of the village’s Château, these terraced vineyards of limestone scree and marl enjoy perfect southwest sun exposure, giving dense, chewy wines loaded with Mediterranean soul. Sylvain is not one to shy away from hard work. In an ancient volcanic amphitheatre littered with marine fossils and big chunks of limestone, he has done what few vignerons dare to do nowadays: he spent years clearing the land of boulders and shrubbery before finally planting a vineyard.

The white and red produced in the stunning Cocalières site benefit from high elevation—the parcel lies well above the village at 350 meters above sea level—and cooler, northern exposure, yielding wines of incredible purity, finesse, and electrifying minerality. This was not only an enormous financial investment but also back-breaking labour.

Sylvain has also elected to have his fruit certified as organic after a mandatory three-year conversion process. For him, this is a choice both of conscience and pragmatism. He works the soil vigorously by ploughing regularly. This forces the roots to dig deeper in the soil in search of cooler, humid subsoil, which protects the vines from drought and sun.

Ultimately, his rationale centres on helping achieve a natural balance. In his words, “We believe that work in the vineyards has far more influence on a wine’s quality than what we do in the cellar.” What happens in the cellars is equally compelling. Domaine d’Aupilhac’s wines find a terrific balance of ripe fruit and silky tannins, power and grace. When aged, these wines achieve a complexity rarely found in wines sold for many times the price, while their wildness and intensity make them equally appealing when drunk young.