Or to give it its full title, Domaine Boissezon-Guiraud.
Pomplia Guiraud explained that they had had problems with Château Guiraud in Sauternes, even though Guiraud is her husband’s family name and the family have been in Roquebrun for 200 years. And as well as vineyards in Roquebrun, they also have vineyards in the nearby village of Causse-et-Veyran, and that is where Boissezon comes in, with a wedding some fifty years ago. Altogether they have 58 hectares, one third in Roquebrun and two thirds in Causse-et-Veyran. Pomplia comes from Romania; she met Michel Guiraud when he was there on holiday. He took over the family estate thirty years ago, and began bottling his wine about twenty years ago. And they make a diverse range of wines, which we tasted in the old cellar.
2014 Les Hirondelles, Pays de l’Hérault - 7.00€
A pure Sauvignon. Classic fermentation. Fresh pithy fruit on the nose and rounded Sauvignon fruit on the palate, with some varietal character. A pleasant glass of wine, without any great depth.
2014 Les Petits Cailloux, Pays de l’Hérault – 5.50€
White blossom on the nose. Rounded ripe palate, with some texture and mouth feel. Fresh fruit. Medium weight and easy drinking.
And with this 2015 harvest they will make a St. Chinian Blanc for the first time from Marsanne, Roussanne and Grenache blanc.
2014 Rosé, La Dame Rose, Pays de l’Hérault – 5.50€
A blend of Mourvèdre and Cinsaut that could equally well be a St. Chinian. Light colour. Light fruit on the nose and quite a rounded palate, with some ripe fruit, dry raspberries. All saigné. The Mourvèdre gives it some structure making it a food rosé. From vineyards in Roquebrun.
2013 Grenache Noir, Sans Pareil, Pays de l’Hérault – 5.50€
Not made in 2014 as there was not enough Grenache, as the vines suffered from drought in Causse-et-Veyran. Nor are all the vines in Causse-et-Veyran are classified as St Chinian. Medium young colour. Soft ripe fruit on both the nose and palate. Quite ripe and spicy, soft and fleshy and a slightly jammy note on the finish. Easy drinking.
2014 Les Cerises, St. Chinian – 7.00€
From Roquebrun, but it doesn’t say so on the label. 55% Syrah with Grenache Noir, Carignan and Cinsaut. Medium colour. Quite soft ripe fruit on the nose. Quite rounded and spicy; easy drinking.
They practice lutte raisonnée rather than organic viticulture. They have just three employees and would need several more if they were to be organic.
2014 St Chinian. Comme à Cayenne – 9.50€
Each wine always comes from the same plot each year, and this plot, called Brusse Noir, is particularly difficult to work, with very stony soil. Hence the reference to French Guyana where convicts were sent for forced labour. This is a blend of 85% Grenache Noir and 15% Carignan, picked together and fermented together. Medium colour; quite ripe spicy nose. Medium weight palate. A touch of rustic tannin from the Carignan. Aged in vat . Refreshing drinking.
2011 Château Boissezon-Guiraud, St. Chinian – 7.00€
From the clay and limestone soil of Causse-et-Veyran. A blend of Syrah, Grenache Noir, Carignan and Cinsaut. Élevage in vat. Medium colour. Lightly smoky and a bit stalky on the nose. Better palate with some appealing peppery fruit. A touch confit on the finish.
2012 La Suite dans les Idées, St. Chinian – 11.00€
Mainly Mourvèdre, with some Grenache and Carignan. Aged in vat. They seem to have a slightly ambivalent attitude to oak barrels, using them up to 2006 and then trying again in 2012. Quite solid ripe fruit. Quite concentrated, with a sweet note, and also a slightly green note. Like virtually everyone else in Roquebrun, they don’t mention Roquebrun on the label, observing that it is not very well known, so doesn’t really add anything – though Pomplia did now admit that they were beginning to have second thoughts.
2012 Cap Nègre, Pays de l’Hérault – 10.00€
This is the name of plot. A pure Alicante Bouschet, from 30 year old vines. Quite solid and sturdy with black fruit on the nose. Quite tannic and dense. Aged in vat. An amusing back label written in medical terms , suggesting a moderate consumption and that it would go well with black chocolate.
2010 Terre Promise, St. Chinian – 15.00€
85% Syrah, 15% Carignan. Aged in vat. For some reason I did not find this very harmonious. There was sturdy fruit and some peppery spice, but with an awkward edge on the finish. Maybe it needs a bit more bottle age.
And projects for the future? Maybe another rosé, as well as a white St. Chinian. And maybe a new red cuvée. They are full of ideas. And then we went to see some of the vineyards on the outskirts of the village.