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20 June 2009

Languedoc: Domaine Pastouret, Costières de Nîmes

Domaine Pastouret

Jeanne and Michel Pastouret have been working to organic standards since 1980, so you certainly can't say they've jumped on the "bio" (as the French call it) bandwagon! After taking that initial step, they became fully certified organic in 1993 following a period of "remodelling the estate," as Michel explained to me, with the "first new wines" released in 2000. Their 30 hectares (75 acres) of vineyard lie on gently south-facing slopes along the Nîmes "Costières" itself. I first came across one their reds as a tasting judge at the 2006 Signature Bio organic wine competition and finally had the chance to visit them in June 2009 while in the area. 

These are the latest vintages available, all reasonably priced between €5 and €6.50:
2008 Costières de Nîmes rosé (50/50 Syrah/Grenache) - nice elegant Provence vs Languedoc style with attractive light fruit vs crisp, lively and mouth-watering finish. 85-87
2008 Costières de Nîmes white (Clairette "de Bellegarde"/Grenache blanc) - aromatic and mineral to start, turning more exotic and gummy; attractive gentle fruit and crisp dry bite showing good length and mouth-watering finish again. 87
2008 Costières de Nîmes red (Syrah/Grenache) - lovely spicy black cherry fruit, perfumed and upfront; juicy mouthfeel and more concentrated than expected vs dry yet rounded tannins, nice and ripe vs a bit of bite with good balance of juicy spicy flavours and firmer texture. 87
2007 Cuvée Spéciale Costières de Nîmes (Syrah/Grenache remaining after the rosé is "bled" off with malolactic fermentation in barriques) - again shows enticing fruit although more powerful and full-bodied with bigger structure and grip; quite concentrated and chunky vs background fruit and very light cedar / chocolate notes. Needs a year to open up fully. 89+

Route de Jonquières, 30127 Bellegarde. Tel: 04 66 01 62 29, contact@domaine-pastouret.comwww.domaine-pastouret.com.

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