Thursday, 22 April 2010

My current everyday red - Domaine Pierre Fil


Living as we do smack bang in the middle of the Minervois, there is no shortage of good value wines to supply us with wines for everyday drinking. We don't have to go far for our current favourite. Domaine Pierre Fil's cave is at the other side of the village (a full 500m away) and he has an excellent range of reds for any occasion.

Pierre is a delightful chap and has winemaking in his blood. His family have been vignerons for 7 generations and he owns vineyards around the Minervois village of Mailhac. He has an unusually high percentage of Mourvèdre which ripens well here on the plateau overlooking the plains and La Clape in the distance. Mourvèdre grown just the other side of the hill in Olonzac struggles to ripen, as the microclimate is fractionally cooler. Unusually for the languedoc, most of the grapes are harvested by hand, important as they undergo carbonic maceration which requires that the berries remain intact.

His top-of-the-range wine is Dolium, which is delicious but needs several years in bottle to unfurl. Orebus is a stylish, barrel matured red which is rated by the Guide Hachette. I am a big fan of the 2006 Cuvée Heledus which is made of roughly equal proportions of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Carignan and aged in older French oak for 12 months. It has a vibrant nose of blackcurrants and licquorice and oodles of black, herby fruit on the palate, again with a smack of licquorice. Lots of character and definitely Minervois, this is a super little wine for 6 euros a bottle.

His bag in box red is not half bad either.

7 comments:

  1. I am happy that you mention Pierre Fils wine finally. I discovered them last fall at a wine tasting in Caunes, and have since brought home some of their other bottles. I think you're right - very Minervois and way good for price, top to bottom of the selection.

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  2. This wine is really excellent!!! But sorry, the name is DOLIUM. Dolmen are the big very old stones in England and France build before christ. Lots of succes with this blog, Thecla.

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  3. You're absolutely right 'anon'. Dolium it is. I'll change it.

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  4. Yes it is Dolium. The remains of a Roman wine cellar discovered at the location of the vineyard would have contained roman doliums. Doliums are extra large fired clay amphoras containing approximately 2000 litres of wine.

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  5. And after almost 3 years there is still written "Dolmen"...

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    1. Sorry, overlooked that one Anon. It is now updated. And Pierre Fil's wines are again in my mind as I'm just about to check the English translation of his tasting notes for him. He has a newish website, http://www.domaine-pierre-fil.fr/#Home.M

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    2. Had an interesting degustation at Pierre Fil recently. Very nice people. Excellent reds. Good prices. A gem.

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