- Wines in Portfolio -
LES TRAVERS DE MARCEAU
Type: Dry red
Site: sloping vineyards of brown schiste with little to no top soil
Vines: predominately Carignan and Syrah with Cinsault and a small amount of Mourvèdre. 20-50 year old vines. Yield: 30hl/ha. Harvested by hand.
Vinification: Partially de-stemmed, depending on the vintage. Vinified with native yeast in stainless steel and enamel lined tanks, limited sulfur use.
Elevage: Aged in stainless steel and enamel lined tanks. Light filtration.
Prodcution: 40,000 bottles
Ageability: Drink me now or savor me later.
Suggested pairings: grilled fish, roast chicken or duck, barbecue, couscous, tagine, pizza, even salad... The brightness in this wine and low alcohol (always below 13%, even in hot vintages) makes this extremely food friendly.
Notes: Les Travers de Marceau is named after his son Marceau and the gentle slopes that surround the domaine. Marceau's birth coincides with Jean-Marie's first vintage under his own label and has become a hallmark of Jean-Marie's approachable "glou-glou" styled wines that also perfectly transmit their sense of place - brightly fruited and high toned (blueberry, raspberry, plum), punctuated with herbal notes (thyme in particular) and just enough texture and mineraltiy to transport one to the rolling garrigue studded slopes of Berlou. Deliciously gluggable, this wine is also capable of ageing. A magnum with 3-6 years on it is a revelation for such an affordable wine.
LE MAS AU SCHISTE
Type: Dry red
Site: a selection of parcels, often the steepest parcels, dominated with brown flaky schiste
Vines: Predominately Carignan and Syrah with Grenache. 60% 50+ year old vines. Yield: 15-25 hl/ha. Harvested by hand.
Vinification: Partially de-stemmed, fermented with native yeasts in stainless and enamel lined tanks with limited sulfur use. 2 week maceration with 1 piegeage per day or cap immersion.
Elévage: Aged sur lies for 12 months in 3-13 year old Burgundy barrels. Light filtration.
Production: 15,000 bottles
Ageability: There is always an immediate appeal to this wine and it also benefits from ageing. Drink within 4 years to stay on the fruit. Depending on the vintage, the tannins may be more or less noticeable upon release but it is always approachable.
Notes: Le Mas au Schiste translates to "pile of schiste." It is also the way the French pronounce "masochiste." All puns fully intended. Taken from the domaine's oldest vines on the steepest terraced vineyards covered in the famed slippery schiste rock, these vineyards are incredibly hard to work, rendering any kind of mechanization impossible. The name is a testament to Jean-Marie's simultaneous dedication to his land and his self-deprecating humor. This inspired and hard won cuvée has become the domaine's flagship - demonstrating both serious depth, complexity, and structure while remaining elegant and lifted. Darker fruits and herbs than Travers de Marceau with a denser, fuller palate and more structure. The core remains that tension of lifted fruit (blackberry, tart plum) and intense savory herbs (rosemary, bay) always with the accent on the herbal and mineral components and luscious texture. It's the ballet dancer in arabesque - whose beauty and grace make one forget just how difficult it is to pull off such a complex and striking pose.
Type: Dry red
Color: Pale, transparent purple.
Appellation: Vin de France (all estate fruit in Saint-Chinian)
Site & Vines: single parcel of old Vine Cinsault on schiste. 50+ year old vines
Vinification & Elevage: Whole cluster, carbonic maceration in stainless steel.
Elevage: Aged in stainless steel and enamel lined concrete tanks.
Ageability: glug, glug, glug. Oscar's never been around long enough to know how ageworthy he is.
Suggested pairings: fowl with prunes, lamb with rosemary, canard à l'orange.
Notes: Juicy, immediate, and irresistable like Jean-Marie's famed cousin, Oscar. Oscar was apparently quite the charmer - everyone wanted a piece of him and could never get enough. Hence the charm and frustration of such a delicious and small production cuvée. Rarely is there enough to go around, especially in recent vintages when yields have been particularly challenging. Grab Oscar when you can and when he's not available, savor the memory and pray to Mother Nature for a re-appearance.
Languedoc, Saint- Chinian, Berlou
Jean-Marie Rimbert, self proclaimed defender of the Languedoc’s native Carignan grape, is a benchmark grower for the region and also a maverick. Self proclaimed “Carignaniste” and “Carignator” (aka defender and champion of Carignan) his cuvées show just how pleasurable and vibrant this often misaligned grape can be when planted on the right soils and farmed and vinified responsibly. He likes to say “Carignan is my Pinot” and it's an apt comparison. With his low yields (30hl/ha max, often less), intimate knowledge of his individual parcels, and delicate extractions (punchdowns), he brings out undeniable delicacy, nuance, elegance and ageability in the grape.
Jean-Marie’s AOC wines have become classics since he established himself as the first grower to bottle under his own name in the commune of Berlou in the late ‘90’s. His irreverent and playful VDF bottlings and keen sense of humor and imagination have inspired many. Today Berlou is recognized as one of the top Crus of Saint Chinian due to its high elevation and brown schist driven terraced vineyards and AOC and VDF bottlings alike brim with energy, lift and a crunchy, savory herbal expression that belies the soil’s minerality and the aromatic garrigue studded slopes.
Today Jean-Marie has 45 hectares spread between many diverse parcels, locally called travers, each with a slightly different soil composition and exposition. He started from the get go in the mid 90's with agriculture raisonnée and native yeast ferments and began converting to organic certification in 2013.