Domaine Girard, Malepère
Harvest time at Domaine Girard
Not far from the historic city of Carcassonne, where the rolling countryside of this area is rich in pretty terracotta-roofed villages and beautiful orchards, there are stunning views of the Pyrenees. It is here that the slopes and terraces of vines alternate with cereal production and oak woods, in an almost Tuscan landscape. The climatic and geological situation (sandstone and limestone outcrops and clay hillsides) in the West has led to planting of Merlot, Cabernets and Malbec, varieties from Aquitaine. On the dryer soils the Mediterranean varieties of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault are grown. The region of Malepère has had a VDQS classification for many years but the consistent high quality of the wines resulted in its elevation to full appellation status in recent years
The 28 hectare vineyard enjoys the cooler climate of an altitude of 450 metres, which provides an ideal temperature for ripening of the grapes – their Pinot Noir ripens particularly well, avoiding the jammyness that often afflicts wines from this region.
Vine growing has been in the family for several generations with the grapes being sold to the local cooperative. More recently the two brothers of the new generation have started to vinify and sell their wines separately. Philippe is responsible for the vinification and marketing. His brother Jean-François works in the vines.
Each year that we have visited we’ve been more impressed by the results and this year we’ve shipped three perfect wines for the Christmas period.
We are offering a 12-bottle mixed case, comprising four bottles of each of –
Domaine Girard Chardonnay, elevé sur lies fines 2019
If you adore White Burgundy but find the prices prohibitive, then this is for you.
Grown at high altitude, in the areas adjacent to Limoux, this Chardonnay is initially vinified in stainless steel. It is then transferred to oak, of which only 40% is new, where it undergoes a malolactic fermentation, which imparts a creamy texture to the wine. It is then left on the lees in 500L oak barrels for several months to add further complexity.
It has nose that transports you to Burgundy! Lovely mouthfeel, subtle vanilla from the oak, ripe with good acidity, and great length. If you love Pouilly Fuissé you’ll love this, and at a superb price for this quality!
Domaine Girard Cuvée Néri 2018
Philippe’s top wine is made from 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc and 10% Malbec, but from the best cuves which are then aged in oak for 7 months.
It is deep in colour, with a nose of cassis, cedar and hints of nutmeg. This leads into a rich mouthful of concentrated fruit, with great complexity. There are underlying flavours of fruitcake, spice, cinnamon and cloves, and it finishes with soft tannins and great length.
In style, it is like a Grand Cru Saint Emilion on steroids! It is very much a food wine, and the great structure will ensure it will keep for five years, if you so wish.
Winner of the prestigious Guide Hachette Coup de Coeur for three consecutive years…
Available elsewhere in the UK at £15.99!
Domaine Girard Pinot Noir Pech Calvel 2018
Cracking new vintage of this lovely Pinot Noir! The cooler climate of his high altitude (300 m) vineyard, adjacent to Limoux prevents this Pinot Noir becoming jammy – a problem with so many similar wines. These grapes from the best plots and are then aged gently in Burgundian oak barrels.
Medium/light in colour. Raspberry and strawberry Pinot flavours abound with a hint of oak. Elegant and delicious.
A great alternative to many Bourgogne Pinot Noirs, and much better value!