Saturday, April 7, 2012

Domaine Laurens Marcillac 2009

I guess by rights this shouldn't belong in a natural wine blog. So far as I can tell from the Domaine Laurens website - and that of Vine Trail which imports it into the UK, it's not 'natural' or even organic but I'm including it because it tastes it.

We drank it last night at a local restaurant in Bristol (Source Café) and it was totally delicious - with bright, wild hedgerow fruit and a slightly smokey edge. It's made from Fer Servadou, a grape indigenous to south-west France that reminds me of Cabernet Franc, with which it's often blended.

The winemaking is traditional according to the Laurens site or, as they rather nicely put it when you run the site through Google Translate, "Winemaking traditionnell with several power cuts during fermentation". (Basically it's racked.)

"Guard 4/5 years" though I doubt it will last that long. It certainly wouldn't in our house.

Oh, and it's only 12.5% for those of you looking for wines that are lower in alcohol.


  1. Quite a coincidence - had a bottle of their 2008 Cuvée de l'Ecir (has a year in oak) at lunch on Thursday at the wonderful Vieux Pont at Belcastel which is less than 5 miles away (quite a bit more by road though).

  2. Talking coincidence, I drove from Rodez to Capdenac-Gare friday afternoon – the day before yesterday - and our journey took us through the Marcillac appellation. The best wines there are few but VERY interesting, though I would like them higher in alcohol (= riper). The “fer servadou” is also what you call “cépage mansois” or “marcillac” or “braucol” or “pinenc” or ... plenty of others. It can be used as the only grape in Marcillac, and has to be present in Gaillac wines, to an extent. The name “fer” (iron) refers to the toughness of its “sarments”, quite hard to prune and “servadou” is Occitan for “that keeps well”.
    Although I’m not aware of them producing “vin nature”, the estates you have to look for are: Domaine du Cros (Philippe Toulier) with his “Cuvée Vieilles Vignes” – I hold a magnum of his in my very own hands at the time of writing – and Jean-Luc Matha with his Cuvée Peirafi. In good years, it is a very complex wine, with lots of acidity to balance it. In poorer years .... I’m less of a fan.
    In Capdenac-gare (an old railway station created at the time coal-mines were flourishing there), you MUST have a meal at “La Renaissance”. Gilles and Isabelle will serve you great food for no money at all (around 30 € for a 4-courses menu, Michelin star-rated level on the plate if not quite the surroundings). He comes from Sarran in Toulouse, Ducasse in Paris and many other great places, but was born locally. Lovely people on top of that, and hard workers. See alsoé-ici/ if you read French.