Malepère: Domaine Girard 'Cuvée Neri' 2020
Named after Filippo Romolo Neri (the 16th Century 'Third Apostle of Rome' and patron saint of 'Philippes'), Domaine Girard's prestige bottling is from 20 year old-vines grown on elevated (350m), south-east facing slopes, and combines a base of Merlot and Cabernet Franc with a dash of Malbec.
This vintage was awarded an impressive two stars by the dependable Guide Hachette des Vins 2023, describing it as '..ample and powerful supported by a beautiful acidity, refreshed with menthol and liqorice, the palate is framed by tight tannins which suggests good ageing potential'.
This fireside red is a great example of the quality and value that can be found in lesser-known enclaves of La France profonde. Philippe Girard is the 4th generation to run this family domaine of 25 hectare estate - Malèpere (literally meaning 'bad rock') enjoys viticultural influences from both the Atlantic and the Med, with plantings of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Grenache and Cinsault.
|Style||Red Wine, Sec, Full-bodied, Non Sparkling|
|Wine Region||Languedoc, Malepère|
|Grape Variety (Cépage)||Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot|
|Food & Wine Matching||Beef, Casserole, Mushrooms|
|Cellarage||Drink 2022 to 2028.|
|Vinification||Hand-harvested grapes are de-stemmed and macerated for 5 days under low temperature (8 to 10 degrees C). Fermentation is traditional with daily 'pumping over' and the wine is matured in oak (500L barrels) prior to bottling without filtration.|
|Alcohol By Volume (%)||14|
Based in the most westerly appellation of the Languedoc in the foothills of the Pyrenees, Domaine Girard sits above the Lauragais plain, offering distant views of the medieval walled city of Carcassonne. To the west of the town of Limoux, brothers Phillipe and Jean-François Girard are the 5th generation of the family to produce wine on their 25 hectares of vines. The estate includes a range of well-drained soils (clay, marl and gravel) permitting a wide range of grape varieties to be grown including Chardonnay, Merlot, Côt (Malbec), Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir.
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