WineWriting.com & French Mediterranean Wine
Richard Mark James' wine and travel blog

16 May 2010

Languedoc: Sainte Cécile du Parc, Pézenas

Updated March 2013

Stéphane Mouton and Christine Mouton Bertoli created this "new" estate in 2005, which is found between Pézenas and the little village of Caux. "Inverted commas" as the vineyards aren't new - well, some of them were in fact replanted between 2006-2010 (including a 3.5 ha/8.5 acre plot of Cabernet Franc surprisingly perhaps), but there are records of vines on this old estate going back over a century apparently - although the groovy winery is. The 2011 vintage was the first to be made in situ, and before this they'd been using the local Pézenas co-op winery, who used to buy the grapes before Stéphane and Christine bought the property. They took an environmentally (and worker) friendly approach from the beginning, and 2013 will be their first certified organic vintage. Jérome Dubrun overseas the work in the vineyards and winemaking. More @ saintececileduparc.com.

I tried the 2009 vintage of two of their Coteaux du Languedoc reds at last year's London International Wine Fair:
Notes d'Orphée (Syrah and old Cinsault; half the wine spent 12 months in large casks) - ripe spicy and minty nose, rich dark cherry with smoky edges; firm vs rounded palate, has a fair 'kick' at 14.5% alc. but has plenty of sweet vs savoury & tobacco fruit on top. Good value (€4.50 ex-cellar meaning the export price presumably).
Sonatina (Syrah and old Cinsault; aged for 12 months in newer smaller barrels) - similar nose/flavours, more aromatic perhaps with lush and spicy profile, powerful solid palate yet has greater depth of fruit to handle it, again shows attractive savoury & tobacco vs liquorice notes on its still firm and tight finish. Needs a little more time to open up. €6.50 ex-cellar.

And tasted these wines with Christine at the 2010 show:
2008 Notes Pures Vin de Pays d'Oc (Sauvignon Blanc) - nice lively gooseberry and citrus notes/flavours vs 'fatter' lees-y side, rounded vs crisp finish. 85
2009 Notes Frivoles rosé (Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Carignan) - gentle red fruits vs creamier flavours, crisp and crunchy finish with zingy blast. 85
2007 Notes d'Orphée Coteaux du Languedoc (Syrah, Grenache) - lovely aromatic dark cherry and liquorice profile with wild herb edges; spicy/white-pepper tones layered with dark liquorice and 'tar', delicious wine and very 2007 with it. 89+
2007 Sonatina Coteaux du Languedoc - winey and a tad volatile or something on the nose (it might have just been bottled)? Rich dark palate vs firm and peppery, solid grippy texture with underlying minty notes vs black fruits. Interesting stuff in the end, still young for a 2007. 88-90

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