Domaine La Croix Gratiot, 'Bréchallune' Picpoul de Pinet 2019
Owned by brothers Yves and Hugues Ricome for over 30 years, Domaine La Croix Gratiot covers 27 hectares in Montagnac in the Coteaux du Languedoc. After years of selling to the local co- operative, Yves started bottling his own wine in 2005. His daughter Anaïs has now taken charge, after working for some time in New Zealand with Matt Thomson, and makes wonderfully pure wines that reflect the potential of the local varieties with which she works. The domaine has been practising biodynamic since 2016 and is currently in conversion. The first certified vintage will be in 2021.
The Picpoul is planted on soils of loam and limestone, situated near the village of Montagnac which is near to the Mediterranean Sea. The proximity of the zone to the sea means cool maritime breezes moderate the climate, allowing the grapes to ripen slowly and retain good levels of acidity, resulting in fresh and vibrant wines. The Bréchallune is made from a single-parcel selection, the grapes are harvested later to give more concentration and a fuller texture to the finished wine.
The 2019 growing season in the Languedoc was hot and dry. Very high temperatures at the end of June coupled with dry conditions, resulted in concentrated fruit and reduced yields compared to previous harvests.
Fermentation took place in ceramic amphorae, where the wine rested and aged on lees for five months. As a result, the Bréchallune has a rich texture and lovely complexity, a unique style of Picpoul.
The Bréchallune Picpoul boasts bright aromas of grapefruit, lemon and white flowers on the nose. The palate has an attractive, rich texture which is well-balanced with racy acidity. The citrus flavours are concentrated, layered and well-defined.