Cabardès – Vent d’Est
Domaine de Cabrol started “Vent d’Est” in 1995 to fully express the potential of the Montagne Noire terroir. The altitude (350m high) results in two things:
1/ an intense aromatic expression given by grapes that reach full maturity, thanks to the dry and healthy air present in September and October.
2/ a notable freshness/vivacity on the palate thanks to cooler nights.
Vent d’Est is a blend of a minimum of 60% Syrah and a maximum of 40% Cabernet Franc, from 15 to 25 year old vines. The Cabernet Franc comes from an amphitheater vineyard. The Syrah always come from the same three clay-limestone parcels: a natural terrace facing east (“la vigne longue” ou “la vigne serpent” – the “long vine” or the “snake vine”), a south-facing slope (“la Plage” – “the Beach”) and a very chalky slope (La Capitelle). They are located a few hundred meters from each other.
To preserve the expression of this terroir, no wood is used. The Cabernet Franc is destemmed, while the Syrah goes through carbonic maceration – Domaine de Cabrol always uses carbonic maceration for the Syrah, a long maceration in this case, in concrete tanks filled through the top then sealed. Both are assembled after about 10 months. The wine rests for a few additional months before being lightly fined, filtered and bottled.
Vent d’Est has been recognised several times as one of the greatest wines of the Languedoc. It offers a suave texture and incredible aromas of wild berries followed by black olives, black pepper and a hint of violet as it keeps evolving in the glass. The finish is long and complex. It has great ageing potential (15 to 20 years) and reaches its peak after about ten years of ageing, taking on aromas of truffle. 14% Alcohol.
About the Producer
Situated in Languedoc just north of Carcassonne, on the southern flank of the Montagne Noire, which separates Languedoc from the Massif Central, Cabardès is unique in that the transitional character of its geography and range of its grape varietals (with plots of Cabernet Sauvignon alongside Grenache) permit the winemaker to favor either a Mediterranean or an Atlantic (Aquitaine) style. As president of the Comité Interprofessionnel de Cabardès, Claude Carayol succeeded in creating this appellation in 1999, even though wine has been made here since the Romans. There are now between 50 and 60 producers in the appellation.
The Carayol family has been growing grapes in this region for many generations, though winemaking is a more recent venture. They own 150 hectares of land up in the hills with just about 20 hectares under vine in the most crazy patchwork of small parcels. You drive over rocky terrain of scrub-oak from one parcel of vines to the other, each vineyard fitting comfortably into its contour in the plateau. This scrub-oak is where the word “garrigue” derives (“gar” being the word for oak) and up in these hills you see the first signs of the typical Mediterranean terroir including wild herbs like thyme and rosemary.
Now conducted by Nicolas Carayol, Domaine de Cabrol has the highest vineyards in Cabardès, about 300 meters; the soils are almost pure broken rock, filled with fossilized sea creatures from 90 million years ago. These high elevation vineyards allow Nicolas to harvest much later than his down-the-hill neighbors (mid to late October), allowing for a very long growing season.
Farming practices: organic.
Domaine de Cabrol
You Tube : "Un jour au Domaine de Cabrol"