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A Contre Courant

 

 

 

 

A Contre Courant

My ‘A Contre Courant’ label is made from grapes from the oldest Carignan and Grenache plots in my vineyard.

But what makes this wine outstanding is its maturation under a veil of yeast for four years.

Wines matured under a veil of yeast are characterised by the spontaneous development of yeasts which form a veil on the surface of the wine in contact with the ambient air (during its barrel ageing phase).

This technique, which is uncommon for wine because of the risk of acetic souring when stored in containers with ullage, gives it specific aroma and flavour characters of fig, tobacco and candied cherry and a substantial finish on the palate.

Of the very few wines matured this way, Vin Jaune from Jura is particularly renowned, but there are no red wines.

By maturing a red wine using this technique, I am actually going counter to modern standardised winemaking, hence the name of the wine, which means “flying in the face” of established standards and the “tastefully correct”.

This is a wine I have created for true wine enthusiasts, those who do not resign themselves to the standardisation of taste, to stereotyped and uniform wines, in short, to the prevailing trend for ultra-conformism.

Technical sheet

In the vine

The Grenache and Carignan plots where the grapes are sourced for this ‘A Contre Courant’ label are located among the others in my vineyard, classified under the Saint Chinian appellation.

These Carignan and Grenache vines are trained in the time-honoured Languedoc bush-vine style, a traditional Languedoc system for the development of vine structure, fostering good aeration and excellent exposure, which are pivotal to producing healthy grapes reaching peak ripeness.

The grapes were harvested super ripe, by hand.

In the cellar

As soon as they arrived at the cellar, the grapes were immediately destemmed, then lightly crushed and put into the tank. Fermentation and hot maceration (about 25°c) lasted for four weeks, with twice daily pumping over.

Racking in October then blending.

Matured under a veil of yeast for nearly four years, in 10-year-old barrels, with no topping-up or addition of sulphur. No fining and very light filtration.

In the glass

This wine has an intense garnet colour with copper highlights.

The nose unfurls a complex bouquet including ripe fruit, candied fruit and figs.

The palate displays a sensation of power and rich, structured weight with ripe and lush tannins.

This wine’s key feature is oxidation so decanting is recommended.

Cellaring potential: over 20 years