Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Le Clos du Serres





I saw Béatrice and Sébastien Fillon on the Terrasses du Larzac walk the other day.  You must come and see our new cellar; they said.  So we did, and very smart it is too – and discreet.   You cannot see it from the road; there is no sign, so you need to know which turning to take, by which baby cypress tree.   And they are enjoying the luxury of space, after their old village cellar.  Sébastien now has four large concrete tronconique tanks.  He observed that he has never really liked oak for his red wines and is gradually giving up using it altogether.  Some people – he suggested Cal Demoura, Olivier Jullien, Montcalmès – manage it very well, but he doesn’t think that he does.  And he is very excited by the concrete vats.  They are very good for élevage, as the temperature remains very stable. 

And then we went back to their house for some leisurely tasting and a spot of lunch.  They have produced their first white wine since my last visit.

2010 Le Blanc – 13.00€
80% Grenache Blanc, with  20% Roussanne.  They planted the Roussanne and are renting the vineyard of Grenache Blanc, and they made just 1200 bottles of this 2010. A quarter of the wine – just one barrel -  was vinified and élèvé in barrel, until May.  Quite rounded white blossom fruit.  Very good acidity, with a satisfying mouth feel and texture, and a hint of quince.    They take care not to make it too heavy, and bottle quite early.

2011 Le Saut du Poisson – the lieu dit of the vineyard of Grenache, and now the name of their white wine.  There is a waterfall nearby, with fish.  The fermentation was rather slow this year, so they only bottled the wine in July.  And made 3000 bottles.  It was richer, but also more elegant, with very good acidity.  Similar in style but with more depth, with some elegant, herbal notes and lovely fruit.  The oak is very well integrated.  For 2011 they used one new barrel and one barrel of one wine.    And they have also planted some Vermentino.

And then we went onto red wines – ‘our first ever vertical tasting’, Beatrice observed.  I felt rather honoured. 

Les Maros, a blend, mainly of Grenache, with some Cinsaut and Carignan.  The Cinsaut lightens the Grenache and the Carignan provides acidity.  Sometimes there is some Syrah too, but it depends on the vintage. And the wine is aged in vat, not in barrel.  

2011 Good colour.  Lovely ripe fruit, with ripe spice, silky tannins and a rounded palate.  Very appealing.    Beatrice explained that 2011 was a complicated year as the grapes ripened very unevenly.  They picked Syrah at the end of August, and Grenache at the end of September so that the harvest took six weeks.   A severe triage was essential, but the wine has come out better than expected.  I thought it was delicious.  13.00€

2010 – This was much more homogeneous vintage.  More restrained nose, with a touch of liqueur cherries.  More structured palate.  More restrained, but with ripe fruit and good length. 

2009 – A sunny vintage.  Rounded ripe nose, and more confit fruit on the palate.  Much riper with furrier, less refined  tannins.

2008 – More like 2010, in that it is a nicely balanced year.  Good spice, and some Syrah, but no Cinsaut in the blend.  Quite dense solid and ripe, with some cassis fruit.  More structured.   And a fine finish.

2007 - Their first vintage.  Again Syrah, and no Cinsaut.  Medium colour.  Quite firm leathery fruit on the nose, and appealing leathery notes on the palate, with good cassis fruit.  Nice tannin balance. Drinking very nicely

2007 la Blaca – Syrah is the dominant variety, with 10% aged in barrel. Quite rounded, ripe and mature with ripe tapenade fruit. Very rich finish, and quite different in style. 

And we also tried a new wine, 2011 under the Mollard & Fillon label which is a joint project with their brother- in-law, Nicolas Mollard, from bought grapes, which they vinify, with a little élevage in oak.  It is a Terrasses du Larzac, with Carignan, Cinsaut, Syrah and Grenache in more or less equal quantity.  Deep colour.  Very good red and black fruit.  Nice tannic balance.  Very fresh and rounded. - 14.00€


It was fascinating lovely to see the development of Les Maros over five vintages. The wine is very characteristic of the Terrasses du Larzac, with lovely fruit and freshness.   It is undoubtedly one of the wines responsible for the growing reputation of Les Terrasses du Larzac.  And then it was time for lunch, for some magret de canard with a potato purée au truffe – Beatrice’s parents have a tree in their garden that produces truffles ……..Need I say more?



3 comments:

Nicolas Mollard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicolas Mollard said...

Dear Rosemary,
Thank you for this nice post, unfortunately, i missed the first "verticale" at the domain !
Can i just correct you about my name which is Mollard without an "i" ;)

Nicolas

Rosemary George MW said...

Nicolas - apologies. Will correct.