Minervois Les Farradjales Courbissac 2020

Minervois Les Farradjales
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Minervois Les Farradjales Courbissac 2020, 100% old vine Cinsault, biodynamic and natural production, soft extraction of the grapes, whole bunch fermentation, sublimely fresh and elegant red, unique character, absolutely delightful.  There are several examples of old vine Cinsault in this style in Languedoc but none quite as stylish and delicious.  This prolific, drought resistant grape is very important in the Languedoc as the very dry climate needs reliable varieties like this one when the rain doesn’t fall.  It can give a high yield but when controlled and yields are kept low, older vineyards can produce exceptionally good quality wines, with a typically southern fragrance along with palish colour and delightful fresh, fruitiness with a lovely texture.  Farradjales is up on the mountainside of the black mountain and is surrounded only by scrub and trees.  The old vines give a low yield and the wine is simply delicious, classic of the region, but rarely does Cinsault produce such high quality wine.

Is Vegan? Yes
Bottle Size 750ml
Production Method Biodynamic, Natural, Organic
Producer Domaine De Courbissac
Country France
Region Languedoc, France
Vintage 2020
Wine Type Red Wine
Wine Style Medium bodied
Grape Cinsault
Terroir Limestone marls, white coloured soil, single parcel 70 year old vines, 400 metres above sea level
Alcohol 13% abv
Maturation 6 months in concrete tanks and eggs, then further maturation in bottle 6-12 months before release
Total Sulphur Below 50 mg/litre
Annual Production 5 - 10,000 bottles
Ageing Potential 5-7 years
Food Matching Blue Cheese, Charcuterie, Oily Fish, Poultry

Brunnhilde Claux learned about wine making with the best, at Domaine Gauby in the Roussillon. She then helped Dominik Huber to make the wines fresher and more elegant at Terroir Al Limit in Priorat. With the help and investment of German film producer Reinhard Brundig, this once abandoned and most beautiful of vineyards was brought back to life by Brunnhilde in 2014 and since then has gone from strength to strength. Brunnhilde is obsessed with freshness, with producing balanced wines with lower abv and with capturing the terroir as naturally and sustainably as possible. She has no time for bullshit, time wasters or people who tell her what her wine should be. She has her own vision and approach and it is 100% holistic, balanced and with quality in mind.

The Domain has to be one of the region's most beautiful, 40 hectares, with 17 under vine tucked away on the lower slopes of the Montagne Noir just above the village of Cesseras. The dusty winding track leads you up to around 200 metres above sea level where the old vines are dotted around the hillside surrounded by garrigue and 'sous bois'. The small team at Courbissac are working very hard to return indigenous species of trees and plant life to the domaine, to revitalise it and increase the bio-diversity. All the vineyards and new plantings are mini parcels, surrounded by fruit trees, olives, Almonds, and a huge array of local flora and fauna.

The 17 hectares are planted with the classic grapes of the region, Grenache, Carignan, Syrah, Mourvedre, with some very old vines of Cinsault higher up in the Farradjales plot. They also have white grapes including Grenache Blanc, Muscat and ninety year old vines of Listan, a white grape which is the same as Palomino in Sherry and is also widely planted in the Canary Islands. Brunnhilde loves this salty white grape as it has lower alcohol and a lovely, dry, nutty freshness. They have planted more and also some other rare indigenous varieties.

There are six different cuvees and all have a delightful personality which is both classic and new wave. The reds are incredibly elegant, made with virtually no sulphur but clean as a whistle. Brunnhilde doesn't like funky and detests the use of the word purity, for it means nothing to her. The wines are honest and real and absolutely delicious. When talking about her work, after a tasting on a sunny afternoon in April, she seems tired, but vocal;

'it is tough you know, making wine like this, it is every day, it never stops, it is a lifestyle, not a job, but you do it because you love it, nothing else.'


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The Natural Wine Lexicon

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Natural Yeast Fermentation
  • Nothing Removed, Nothing Added
  • Hand Harvest
  • Unfined
  • Unfilitered
  • Low Sulphur
  • No Added Sulphur
Natural wine explained. Read more

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Minervois Les Farradjales Courbissac 2020