Appellation: Costières de Nîmes.
Grapes: Carignan 50%, Syrah 50%.
About: Ridiculously well-priced wine that’s both glou-glou and quite seriously structured. It’s a great use of old vine Carignan. The Syrah adds fruit without adding weight or taking away from the cool freshness of the wine. The name refers to the pairing of the grapes and also to a song by the venerable French poet chanteur [Georges Brassens], who was born in nearby Sète, the song being a satirical take on being two of anything in life.
Location: just east of Bellegarde on the plateau of the Costières de Nîmes.
Size: from several parcels within the 10 hectare holding.
Age: Carignan planted in 1963, Syrah planted in 1995.
Soils: deep galets roulés with some limestone and clay, the same as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Lirac and Tavel.
Exposition: basically flat.
Training: although everything was planted in gobelet, much was re-trained to cordon de royat on wire in the 1980’s for the “convenience” of the worker, rather than the health of vine and fruit.
Farming: organic, as above.
Average yield hl/ha: 35.
Climate: Mediterranean with local Camargue water basins adding humidity, sea breezes from south, Mistral wind from north.
The fruit is hand harvested into small cases. De-stemmed but not crushed. Using natural yeasts, whole berries are fermented in enamel tank, without addition of sulfites and without temperature control, at an ambient temperature around 25ºC. Part co-fermented, part fermented separately and blended a month after fermentation. Total time on skins 5 to 10 days, depending on the tank. One remontage then infusion during ferment and a remontage after to keep the cap wet until pressing. After pressing the wine was put back in tank to age for six months. It was bottled under cork without fining or filtration, other than a gross filtration to remove large particles.
Vintage notes 2017
Yield: 17 hl/ha.
Harvested: August 25 to 30.
Bottles produced: 20,000.
Date bottled: 2018-03.
Alcohol: 13 %
SO2 Total: 22
Tasting: a bone dry, fresh, bright, with attractive cherry, cassis, green plum, white pepper fruit. It’s medium-full bodied with energy and freshness, clean, supple tannins, long.
Vintage notes 2018
A wet spring caused problems with mildew never before seen in the Southern Rhône, requiring both luck in the siting of vines and diligent work to overcome. It was followed by a hot and dry summer leading to very good maturity of the fruit. The result at Clos des Boutes, top quality but not big volume.
Yield: 40 hl/ha.
Harvested: September 1 to 15.
Bottles produced: 25,000.
Date bottled: 2019-03.
SO2 Total: 24.
SO2 Total: 24.
Vintage notes 2019
Heatwave year and the third year in a row with a very low yield. So Fagnes wasn’t made, all the fruit went into Pluriel.
Yield: 35 hl/ha
Harvested: early Sept
Bottles produced: 20,000
Date bottled: 2020-02
SO2 Total: 31
Vintage notes 2020
Very good for both quality and quantity. Good amount of rainfall during winter and spring, normal temperatures during summer with a couple of small but beneficial rainfalls mid July and mid August. Around 750mm in total for year until harvest time, similar to 2018. Some mildew pressure but nowhere to go but to work in the vines so there was no distraction from managing it. Very early harvest, however.
Yield: 45 hl/ha
Harvested: 20-25 August
Bottles produced: 23,000
Date bottled: 2021-03
Tasting: 2020-12-05 very clear, sweet, sappy cherry, cassis fruit, pure, very fresh and light on entry, then some grip on finish, some mineral, vegetal character. Kind of go everywhere wine, light and pure enough on its own, enough weight to go with a steak.