Les Clos Perdus ‘Prioundo’ 2013
*tasting note at the bottom
I’ve never really been that excited about the wines from the south of France. It’s not that there isn’t good wine here, far from it, it’s just that Catalunya has remarkably similar soils, climates, grape varieties and well… wine, as a result. I imagine if I lived in Beaune, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay would loose a little allure as well. Still, thanks to slightly laxer appellation laws, as well as much lower land costs, a good few international wine-makers have been tempted to set up here. Domaine Treloar and Domaine of the Bee are two of the better producers I’ve had the pleasure of trying, but I suspect that dotted in amongst the inevitable co-operatives are more gems waiting to be discovered.
Case in point; Paul Old from Australia and Hugo Stewart and their 15 year old project; Les Clos Perdus. Inspired by a trip to the Languedoc in 2002, they purchased a small 1.5 hectare plot of land in Corbieres and started to make wine. Neither Paul or Hugo are old hands at wine-making, so it was very much a learning-as-you-go process and yet 15 years later, their project has expanded to 20 hectares across 5 very different climates in Corbieres, all either organically or biodynamically cultivated and each made into a separate wine. This approach strikes a cord with me; there’s something quite lovely about the innocence of ‘just having a go’ and making it work. I also like that, whilst very much a minimal intervention style project, there’s no silly marketing or obnoxious labels. Just good, well made wines with a clear sense of place and importantly, well priced!
A friend told me to try these 6 months ago and I wish I had. Well, better late than never and I decided to get my Les Clos Perdus experience underway with a Grenache dominated blend by the name of ‘Prioundo’.
80% Grenache and 20% Cinsault from a single plot of 1.5 hectares, 150m above sea level. 20% whole-bunch in the fermentation, spontaneously fermented in stainless steel and left to sit on its lees for 9 months. Bottled without fining and only light filtering, only 4,800 bottles produced. 14.5% ABV.
Unoaked Grenache, when done correctly, can be such a lovely wine. Whilst the current fashion for this style seems to be focused around Madrid and the Sierra Grados mountains in Spain, this is a considerably better wine than most I’ve tried from Spain (Some notable exceptions from DO Montsant)
Light ruby in colour with a lovely, fruity and mineral nose. Sour cherries and red currants, earth, orange peel and dried herbs; so Mediterranean and so Grenache! The same bright, tangy flavours carry through to the palate, complete with slightly firm tannins and a surprising amount of freshness, considering the high alcohol level. No sign of any unnecessary heat, however, and the finish is long and dry. Considering the tiny production of this wine, the minimal intervention, labour intensive style of production and quality, the price is incredibly appealing. A delicious wine of which I will buy at least another couple to share with friends! 91Pts.
Purchased from Magatzem Escola for €13