Clos des Fées Rousillon, France
Clos des Fées is relatively new in the wine world, beginning in 1998, when Herve and Claudine settled in Vingrau, on the high cool slopes of the northern edge of Roussillon. Herve recognised the quality potential of the cool high sites of these magnificent limestone based vineyards sitting well above the valley floors where most producers work in easier and more fertile soils. The vineyards of Vingrau and the higher slopes could not be more complex, different, or difficult, to work than those on the lower flat land. Buying up old and often abandoned vineyards from these high slopes. Herve has gradually amassed dozens of tiny plots, of which many are magnificent mature vineyards spread throughout these cooler slopes. With a large team of vineyard workers, they work approximately only 2 hectares of vines each throughout the year, producing tiny yields of perfectly ripe fruit which also retain excellent freshness and acidity. Vinifying gently and using minimal SO2 during the winemaking process the resulting wines show remarkable finesse and freshness behind perfectly ripe fruit that shows its origins from these fresh limestone based soils. Whilst focussing on the varieties that have always been the strength of this historic region, Herve has also managed to produce great results with white wine as well as introducing carefully selected root stock from Merlot and Cabernet franc, as well as other varieties. The freshness and polish he achieves in these immacualte wines is testament not only to his wine-making skills but also his knowledge of the great wines of the world having previously worked as a sommelier in Paris and running his own restaurant.
2012 Grenache blanc vieilles vignes
A blend of Grenache blanc and Grenache Gris produced from the oldest vines on the estate (over 100 years old). Whole bunch pressed with Grenache blanc aged in stainless and Grenache Gris in barrel on lees for about 6 months. Remarkable freshness as well as richness, depth and texture.
2012 “Les Sorcières du Clos des Fées” Cotes du Roussillon
made from a blend of 50% Syrah young vines and 30% Grenache and 20% Carignan both from 40-80 yo vines. Picked to retain balanced acidity and vinified gently to gain a very soft extraction and retain the freshness and perfume inherent in this medium bodied blend. Aged on fine lees in tank for about 8 months with minimal SO2 giving a wine designed for maximum drinkability with delicate tannins and silky texture behind the perfumed and explosive fruit.
2011 “De battre mon coeur s’est arrêté” Cotes du Roussillon villages
100% Syrah grown on granite at height of 600 metres facing south, south-East. This vineyard is located further to the west of Vingrau, further up the valley where slopes are higher and cooler. Deep intense and dripping with fine granite terroir.
2011 “Un faune avec son fifre sous les oliviers sauvage” VDP
Majority Cabernet franc, with a little Merlot. The Cabernet Franc is planted on a steep north facing limestone slope and Merlot from Clos des Fees (the cuttings coming from a top Pomerol estate). Both varieties planted on poles and bush pruned giving a wine of great intensity.
2010 “Vieilles Vignes” Cotes du Roussillon villages
45% Carignan, 45% Grenache and Lladoner Pelut and 10% Syrah being a blend of the oldest vines of the estate. Vinified with a slow and gentle extraction, aged without racking in cement and barrel (none new). Very perfumed and silky on the palate with real intensity and finesse. Very attractive young this will also age well for about 10 years but will be very hard to resist..!!
2010 “Le Clos des Fées” Cotes du Roussillon villages
made from a blend of 50% Syrah, 20% Grenache 20% Carignan and 10% Mourvedre. 18 months ageing and elevage resulting in a wine of immense depth requiring patience. Intense and lushly textured, this wine will give great pleasure young and shows just how great the Roussillon can be.
2010 “La Petite Siberie” Cotes du Roussillon villages
100% Grenache from very old bush vines planted in a cold windy slope on a clay limestone base with shale mica-schist and iron. Aged in new oak, only 2000 bottle made. This wine is remarkably dense and will need years to mature and evolve to show its best. Fabulous wine in the making.
“…a beacon of Roussillon quality.” The Wine Advocate
“Herve Bizeul practices a ruthlessly controlled viticultural regimen focused on some 130 parcels of selection massale vines in the dramatically rocky, yet clay-permeated limestone environment north of Vingrau, and his pursuit of concentration and purity continues with meticulous selectivity of plots and lots (much of the crop is sold off each year) as well as of clusters and berries. Add to this a fruit-pampering vinification, and the result is wines that have turned heads every bit as much as does the local scenery and brought Bizeul well-deserved recognition as a beacon of Roussillon quality. He is so convinced of the fit between traditional goblet training and the local climate, that he is even head-pruning his young vines of Cabernet Franc, whose profusely floral, chocolaty-rich, yet refined inaugural 2008 vintage will, rest assured, be unlike any other wine from this grape that you have ever tasted. Bizeul is another of those denizens of Roussillon and the Languedoc to have imagined and now perfected a uniquely delicious style of white wine.” Robert Parkers The Wine Advocate
Wine due to arrive late 2013.