At La Reserve d’O, biodynamic winemaker Marie Chauffray’s high-altitude vineyards—surrounded by the garrigue (shrubby bush land) overlooking the Herault Valley in the Terrasses du Larzac AOC —are a virtual nature reserve with big blue lizards, snakes, scorpions and all sorts of other creatures. She planted blackberry bushes and thyme, and her red blends (made from syrah, grenache and cinsault) reflect the flavors of the terroir.
After 10 years of searching for her own vineyards, Marie Chauffray, with her husband Frederic found their unique property and have dedicated themselves to biodynamic viticulture. The 10 ha estate is certified organic (Ecocert) and biodynamic (Demeter). The vineyard is situated 400 m above sea level, is located on terraces of limestone pebbles, on very dry soils and high winds with vine 30+ years of age. Being imported for the first time into the US, Maria won a Silver Medal at Millesime Bio 2010 for the La Reserve d’ O.
The grapes are picked by hand early in the morning to preserve their freshness and flavor. They are then transferred by gravity into stainless steel tanks. Fermentation takes place with natural yeast, and some pumping (pigeages) to extract the soft color and tannins. After four weeks of soaking, the grapes are gently pressed. They use a minimum of sulfur ‘only at bottling’, no enzymes or other additives, natural yeasts and don’t filter or fine.
The wines of Marie and Frederic are intense and expressive wines, full bodied and full of personality. Powerful yet elegant.
La Reserve d’O 2009, Coteaux du Languedoc, Terrasses de Larzac
45% Syrah, 50% Grenache, 10% Cinsault. Cacereous gravel soils, elevage in stainless steel and cement vat. Indigenous yeast, without additives. Total SO2: 80 mg/l.
Le Hassiz O 2009, Coteaux du Languedoc, Terrasses de Larzac
50% Syrah, 45% Grenache, Cinsault 5%. 50% in neutral oak and 50% in stainless steel. Indigenous yeast, without additives. Total SO2: 70 mg/l.
SansSoo Rouge, 2010, Coteaux du Languedoc – Saint Saturnin
A 50%/50% blend of low yielding Syrah and Cinsault (25 hl per ha). Bright, pure, vibrant fruit. Very limited quantities. 30 year vines on calcareous soils. Indigenous yeast, without additives. No sulfites. 5 mg/l detected.