This wine is so much more than simply a southern french Grenache. So. So. Much. Energy. So much composure. This wine by Brunhilde Claux is stunning and a wonderful wine to enjoy daily!
This domain was founded on a biodynamic basis by German film producer Reinhard Brundig, when he bought it in 2002. Brundig was first attracted to the domain due to the complexity of the soil, its established and carefully nurtured vines, and the geographic location, near to Montagne Noire. Now the operation is led by Brunnhilde Claux, whose first vintage was in 2014.
Brunnhilde hand-harvests each variety and plot of land separately. The grapes are hand-selected, and while the young ones are often de-stemmed, the older varieties are often used whole. These grape clusters are then layered and pressed by foot to squeeze out trapped oxygen, before their nine to 12 days of maceration.
Brunnhilde Claux was chosen by Brundig due to her excellent record working for Gérard Gauby, where she learnt the skills needed for growing vines naturally in a Mediterranean climate, and then with Dominik Huber for three vintages.
Yet Claux’s main drive has been to work the vineyards in order to achieve ripeness at the lowest possible Baume – her aim being to capture as much freshness as possible. This work, combined with Claux’s gentle winemaking–infusion rather than extraction–and the complete absence of new oak, has already produced a range of wine that are appreciably livelier, more seductive and fragrant than what we had come to expect of this excellent producer and the Minervois appellation in general.
The terroirs here are up to 300 metres above sea level, and the proximity to Montagne Noire gives it a nearly Mediterranean climate. Despite the growing period taking place during long, dry summers, winter brings in a large amount of rain to keep the soil well-nourished throughout the warmer months. The summer heat is moderated by the cooling effect of air flowing down from the mountains, allowing the grapes to mature at their ideal rate.
Unlike much wine from Minervois, this terroir of clay and limestone leads to a fresh and fruity wine – unlike others that grow in schist-rich soils instead.
These are lithe, pure-fruited southern wines, whose depth and layered personalities do not sacrifice perfume and mineral freshness. Here is the kind of Languedoc that keeps you interested until the very last drop and makes you think seriously about ordering a second bottle. Finesse and freshness, intensity without heaviness...