When Marc Valette took over his grandfather’s vines he stopped selling grapes to the local Cooperative and replanted most of his domaine – he had quality in mind. Organic farming began in 1999, and a multi-level gravity fed winery built, neither common in St Chinian at the time. Marc is passionate about making wines of authenticity and undoing the damage of industrial viticulture. Over time Marc has come to appreciate elegance and refinement and view over-extraction as an obstructer of terroir. He practices long, gentle cuvaison to gently extract the full character from his grapes without harsh tannins. Sulphur is used sparingly, often just a little before bottling. His wines are beautifully pure, with cool fruit and unusual freshness. They age very well.
St Chinian ‘Une et Mille Nuits’ 2020
Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache & Carignan, made with Marc Valette’s trademark long fermentation, and aged in demi-muid. Red fruit and Asian spices alongside a deep, heavy rose petal note. Super texture, really juicy, fleshy and drinkable, but at its core there’s serious quality to the fruit and a mineral structure which really flows across the palate. It is very exciting to be shipping Marc’s wines!
St Chinian Ivresses 2021
A 35-year old vineyard planted to 95% Grenache and 5% Syrah, a single sloped parcel at an altitude of 150ms, facing south. The soil is clay over limestone. Marc wants Grenache of finesse and freshness, and this site provides it. Fully destemmed before 70 days in vat followed by 12 months in stainless steel to retain freshness and purity. Super elegant Grenache, there is a clarity here that really set’s it apart, crisply ripe, layered, very fresh and bursting with energy.
St Chinian Maghani 2019
50/50 Syrah & Mourvèdre. A thin layer of clay over limestone gives naturally low yields, often below 20hl/ha. Fully destemmed. This sees Marc’s long cuvaison, 70-90 days, before spending 24 months in a mix of 20% Amphorae, which keeps fruit and freshness, and 80% demi-muid. No fining or filtration. Dark in colour, and again there is that deep florality, a rose garden, which leads to a powerful, structured palate with outstanding purity and depth of fruit. A brilliant wine.