Domaine de La Grange Des Pères
How many winemakers in the south of France can claim to be amongst France’s greatest? Laurent Vaillé is definitely one of them – attaining his “cult wine” status where the odds were all against him.
He started his career training in the cellars with Jean Francois Coche-Dury (Meursault), Gérald Chave (Hermitage), and Eloi Durrbach (Domaine de Trévallon, Provence), before settling in the l’Hérault of the Langedoc where he purchased his first land in 1989. His choice seemed at the beginning a bit odd; because the nature of the poor, hard limestone soil, which required massive work in order to enable planting vines on them at all. But soon after, it became clear that he actually discovered a great and very unique terroir under these hard rocks.
Choosing the right clones was obvious to him. He sourced his Syrah, Marsanne, and Roussane cuttings from Gérard Chave, His Chardonay from Coche-Dury and his Cabernet from Domaine de Trévallon.
The Vaillé family is deeply attached to their Aniane’s terroir, and they know exactly how to unlock its full potential by constant work in the vineyards and keeping low yields (20-25 hl/ha). The total production is tiny (2,500-3,000 cases annually).
The result is no less than what is widely considered as one of the greatest wines in France. He constantly achieves the very difficult harmony between power, freshness, delicacy and a long-lasting taste.
The Domaine produces two wines:
- Vin de Pays de l’Hérault Blanc: a blend of 80% Roussanne, 10% Marsanne and 10% Chardonay (1 hectare). The blending is done before putting the wines into barrel for the malolactic fermentation.
- Vin de Pays de l’Hérault Rouge: a blend of 40% Syrah, 40% Mouvèdre, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Counoise (Total planted area: 9 hectares). The various varieties are harvested and vinified separately and aged in barrels. Blending is done only before settling and bottling.