Domaine Cabirau 2012 "Serge & Nicolas" Maury Sec Roussillon
After 27 years importing wine, Dan Kravitz took the plunge and purchased 13.5 acres of vineyard land in Roussillon, the French part of Catalonia. Named Cabirau after the vineyard's original designation, the domaine lies on a hill below the famed Cathar fortress of Queribus. Planted to Grenache, it includes a prized 3.5 acre parcel of 60 year-old vines. The vines are planted to steep slopes of schist, dark sharp rock that gives a distinctive mineral character to Grenache.
As the increasingly prestigious Roussillon Appellation requires at least 3 varietals, the top bottling, "Serge & Nicolas", uses the new Appellation 'Maury Sec'. Based on old vine Grenache, it also incorporates Syrah and Carignan.
"Serge & Nicoloas" is named after the two most important people to Dan's Cabirau project. Serge Soulatge works the vineyard with the same care he gives his own. Serge considers a poorly tended vineyard an offense against the universe. Nicolas Burger is the head winemaker at VTV (Les Vigneron de Tautavel Vingrau), and somehow finds the time to oversee artisanal vinification of Cabirau while simultaneously producing wines from the over 2,000 acres jointly owned by othe Coop members.
The grapes were manually harvested from 60 year Grenache vines and a mix of old vines and newly planted Carignan and Syrah. The Grenache was unoaked, the Syrah and Carignan underwent malolactic fermentation and 5 months maturation in 500L demimuids.
The softness of Grenache is balanced by the mineral backbone extracted from the schistous soils. The Syrah and Carignan add pronounced spicy and peppery components. Intense yet subtle, you can enjoy "Serge & Nicolas" with the richest and most intricate of meals.
"These blockbuster efforts are made by Dan Kravitz at the coop in Tautavel. They more than over-deliver and offer classic Roussillon flair and texture, yet back it up with solid mid-palate concentration and sound structure. Don't miss them."
-Jeb Dunnuck, 91 Points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate