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2012 Domaine d'Aupilhac, Les Cocalières Rouge, Languedoc Montpeyroux
Red | Ready, but will improve | Domaine D'Aupilhac | Code: 30379 | 2012 | France > Languedoc-Roussillon > Coteaux du Languedoc > Montpeyroux | Southern Rhône Blend | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 13.0 % alcohol
Sylvan Fadat is the man behind the highly acclaimed organic property Domaine d'Aupilhac that located in Montpeyroux, some 36 kms north-west of Montpellier. The Cave, created in 1989 in the family home, is right in the heart of the village. They have been growing grapes for over 5 generations. These are very classy Languedoc wines, from one of the top five producers in the region.
A large part of the vines grow on south-west facing "terraces" on a site named "Aupilhac". They are mainly Mourvèdre and Carignan, but some Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault grow there too.
Another part of the vineyard is the north-west facing "Les Cocalières" at an altitude of some 350m (1150ft) where Syrah predominates, though Mourvèdre and Grenache grow here too. The most northerly facing part is planted with the four white grapes recognized by the Coteaux du Languedoc: Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc and Rolle (Vermentino).
Finally, the "Plôs de Baumes" at Aniane, consists of terraces made up of gravel washed down by the Hérault river; it was owned by the grand-father, Marcel Baumes, so is named in his memory.
The vast majority of wines from the Southern Rhône are blends. There are 5 main black varieties, although others are used and the most famous wine of the region, Châteauneuf du Pape, can be made from as many as 13 different varieties. Grenache is the most important grape in the southern Rhône - it contributes alcohol, warmth and gentle juicy fruit and is an ideal base wine in the blend. Plantings of Syrah in the southern Rhône have risen dramatically in the last decade and it is an increasingly important component in blends. It rarely attains the heights that it does in the North but adds colour, backbone, tannins and soft ripe fruit to the blend.
The much-maligned Carignan has been on the retreat recently but is still included in many blends - the best old vines can add colour, body and spicy fruits. Cinsault is also backtracking but, if yields are restricted, can produce moderately well-coloured wines adding pleasant-light fruit to red and rosé blends. Finally, Mourvèdre, a grape from Bandol on the Mediterranean coast, has recently become an increasingly significant component of Southern Rhône blends - it often struggles to ripen fully but can add acidity, ripe spicy berry fruits and hints of tobacco to blends.
Montpeyroux's combination of relative altitude, limestone soils and benevolent climate have made it one of the most acclaimed vineyards in the whole of the Languedoc.
With his organic philosophy and respect for the land, Sylvian Fadat of Domaine D'Aupilhac has quickly built a reputation as one of the region’s star producers.
The quality of wines from the Languedoc continues to improve; elegance and power are now harmoniously married in Montpeyroux's top wines.
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