France: Languedoc Roussillon

Around Montpellier

Coteaux du Languedoc and the Coastal Vins Doux Naturels
By Richard James

This Guide was last updated on 06 March 2010
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Wine producers to visit



Domaine-Clavel
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Domaine Clavel

Address: Mas de Périé, Route de Sainte-Croix, 34820 Assas
Tel: 04 99 62 06 13  Fax: 04 99 62 06 14
Email: info@vins-clavel.fr
Web: www.vins-clavel.fr
Geo-coordinates:  Latitude: 43:42:19N (43.70525)    Longitude: 3:53:59E (3.89969) 

Pierre Clavel’s name often crops up among those estates considered as leading lights in the Languedoc; and when you taste his wines, it’s not hard to see why. But these aren’t showy wines or people – a laid-back welcome to this attractive neck of the woods is part of their style – with purity, depth and balance a hallmark across the range. Having worked more or less organically for many years, Domaine Clavel  is now certified organic starting with wines from the 2008 vintage (a particularly cracking one too). Pierre has replanted a very stony chalky and sloping vineyard at Mas de Périé with Syrah and Muscat and rented a few plots in the nearby Pic Saint Loup appellation (the ‘border’ is actually only a few hundred metres away). Otherwise the bulk of his older vineyards are located in the  Grés de Montpellier area on the highly rated terrain of La Méjanelle and around Saint-Christol. Favourites include Le Marteau (Syrah, Grenache and Carignan from St-Christol) and Copa Santa (Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre from La Méjanelle), both of which need a few years to open up and express themselves. Try them in the comfort of their neat, spacious and large-windowed tasting room: to get there, drive through Assas heading north, following the sign for Sainte-Croix, then take a left down the tree-lined track (second left a few minutes out of the village) that leads up to the winery (about 1.5 km).

 

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