Domaine Capmartin, Agrumes & Caetera, AOP Pacherenc du Vic Bilh, France, 2021
Under the skilled and insightful guidance of Simon Capmartin, his Madiran and Pacherenc de Vic-Bil Domaine has kicked this most traditional of appellations into a new, more progressive age.
Changes to both the management of his vines and the winery have led to a range of wines which showcase the quality of the appellations whilst brilliantly offering a unique and refreshingly modern twist. Certified organic for the best part of a decade, Simon now has his sights firmly set on biodynamic certification. Natural, low-intervention winemaking is the very essence of his approach. Vinification with no added sulphur, all wild ferments, plus lighter extraction of tannins makes his Madiran Tannat a step apart from the region’s more usual impenetrable blockbusters. With the white wines, unique blends under AOC Pacherenc de Vic-Bilh, using the rare and cherished Petit Corbu variety, is wonderfully complex, whilst IGT Lou Piaf enlivens the palate with electric sharp acidity … certainly a winemaker to watch with interest.
The soils vary from clay- gravel to clay- limestone with vines orientated East and North. Plants are sewn under the rows to avoid soil compaction as well as nutrient contribution, alternated by tillage or natural grassing every other row if necessary. Pruning is simple guyot.
After destemming, pellicular maceration is carried out, a phase right before fermentation begins that involves macerating the grape berries at a low temperature away from the air, in order to activate the first aromas. A standard fermentation process follows, with oxygen provided for the yeasts, which transform the sugar from the grapes into alcohol. Aged for 6 months on the lees in stainless steel tank.
No oak ageing
This is a blend of the two Manseng grapes along with Petit Courbu. Quite perfumed, with citrus fruits, pineapple and crisp apples supported by some spicy minerality. A well balanced wine.
As well as fried fish and grilled seafood this stands up well to white meat and spices.
Wine Anorak 93 Points
Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng and Petit Corbu. One-third barrel and then all in tank, aged 6 months on lees. Wonderful nose of lime, pear and apricot with a touch of honey. The palate is powerful with high acidity and a lovely linear, concentrated flow of ripe fruit, kept bracing by the acidity. 93 Points, JG, March 2023.
Gros Manseng 40%
Petit Manseng 30%
Petit Courbu 30%
6 x 75cl
Award: The Wine Anorak 92 Points
Award: Wine Anorak 91 Points