Moulin de Ciffre had to be one of our best discoveries fifteen years ago, but after several shipments, which were much enjoyed by us all, tragedy struck and Jacques Lésinau, the vigneron behind the dream of Moulin de Ciffre, was tragically killed in a car accident.
Jacques Lésinau left his well-established vineyard, Château Haut-Gardère in the Graves region of Bordeaux, to realise a dream in the Languedoc. He carefully chose a site near Béziers, at the foot of the Monts du Caroux. The vineyard is judiciously situated at the junction of three appellations, allowing M Lésinau to make a Côteaux du Languedoc, a Saint Chinian and a Faugères, not to mention his stunning Bordeaux-based super-Vin de Pays, Val Taurou. The house and chais were based on a beautifully converted old windmill, adjacent to an equally ancient watermill harnessing the power of the Taurou river.
These wines were made from remarkably low yields of only 40hl/ha (the norm is 55hl/ha), which produce great concentration and allows the individual terroir of each vineyard plot to express itself in the wine. They were quite tannic and structured when young, and we decided to lay down a small amount of some of them in our cellars. They are now mature and drinking beautifully.
The vineyard was purchased in the aftermath of M Lésinau’s tragic death by the neighbouring Château Pennautier in Cabardès. These wines will never be seen again, as they have absorbed them into the portfolio of the main château.
Moulin de Ciffre 2001
Made from 20% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 40% Carignan and 10% Mourvèdre with the Carignan vinified by maceration carbonique to enhance the fruitiness. Medium/deep in colour, this has a characteristic minerally Faugères nose. It leads into a big mouthful of silky, plummy fruit with liquorice undertones and hints of woodsmoke. It finishes long.
Moulin de Ciffre, élevé en barriques 2001
AC Saint Chinian
Made from 40% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre. Two thirds of the wine is oak-aged in barriques. It is also a medium/deep young colour, and has a beguiling soft fruit, cedary nose. On the palate it is rich, silky and full of soft dark fruit flavours. It has ripe tannins at the finish but remains very elegant.
Domaine de Ciffre, Val Taurou 2001
Vin de Pay des Côteaux de Murviel
A tour de force with 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Syrah. The deepest wine so far. This is also barrique-aged with a mix of new and old oak barrels. The nose is has hints of cedar, mint, blackcurrants and cloves. It is bursting with concentrated cassis and raspberry fruit flavours. The tannins again are very ripe and soft, and the finish is long.