Thursday, January 27, 2011


I read on the blog of dé, an encouraging comment from Patrick Essa for our property in the Roussillon with my partners Marie and Jean Roger Calvet :

Côtes du Roussillon Villages "Hugo" 2004 - Domaine Calvet Thunevin in Maury
The vineyards of Maury are very famous for their fortified wines, but lesser known for the great quality of their dry wines. In 2001 when Murielle and Jean-Luc Thunevin decided to show the qualities of this style of wine by purchasing old and well exposed vines from this appellation, they decided to start this venture with a young and talented winemaker from the area, Jean-Roger Calvet. He brought in his family vineyards and expanded the parcels initially acquired by Thunevin. Since then, the domain continued to expand, complementing the diversity of terroir with - in particular - great plots of granitic soil around the area of Lesquerde.

Therefore the wines produced by the Calvet-Thunevin brand - Today Thunevin-Calvet - benefit from various expositions on three soil types, classic marly shale of Maury, a few areas of clayey-limestone and the famous granite soils of Lesquerde. This complementary morpho-geological terroir easily shows in the various wines produced, while the grape varietals bring this complexity showed in the balanced blends a Saint Emilion “citizen” can find in one of his top flight wines.

The cuvee Constance is aged for 14 months in cement vats and produced in a large quantity (around 150,000 bottles) the other wines are meant to focus more directly on their origins through demanding organic agriculture, specific vinification and aging process. The Dentelles cuvee is a blend of equal parts Grenache and Carignan, the limited "Trois Marie" is a made with 100% Grenache, while "Hugo" is made with 50/50 old Grenache and Carignan supplemented by around 10 percent Syrah aged in Burgundy barrels.
The choice of aging in small wooden containers and demi-muids (half-vats) clearly shows in these elite wines which find an internal energy and a unique freshness from this area, particularly as the alcoholic heat and sun from this region are in this case particularly well controlled. No heady impressions, residual sweetness or heaviness caused by syrupy and candied flavors, these wines have a true natural expression and purity without compromise which makes the reputation of the “Thunevin” trademark. The oak seems also properly blended in tight frames found in all the wines.
I admit I have a strong preference for the balanced Dentelles in the young range of 2009 which I tasted in April; I was very impressed with the maturation of the 2004 "Hugo". Tasted for the first time two years ago the wine was very tight, still tannic and somewhat aromatically discreet but it had nevertheless some length. Today it seems to have reached a stage where it can be drank for his juiciness, rich matter and fine aromas of staves, white pepper, thyme and dark chocolate present in the nose. The mouth remains closed with its tannic structure highlighted by fine grain and I enjoyed its long finish which a hint of salinity and spicy notes, liquorice and vanilla with a rare elegance. A very nice wine. Very good +

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