We love welcoming the portfolio of Steven Graf wines into the shop for our Thursday tastings, and this week we are featuring three new and exciting bottles. The tastings are always free and casual, just pop on in between 6pm and 8pm and taste through the line-up: a complex, delicious orange wine from Sicily (Porta del Vento), along with a pair of bottles from the Corbieres region of the Languedoc (Ledogar) - a bold red blend and an elegant Macabeo.
Porta del Vento - Catarratto "Saharay" Terre Siciliane 2017
We love Porta del Vento! (check out their Grillo which sees just a whisper of skin contact). This is 100% Catarratto that undergoes a more traditionally extended maceration for an orange wine (30 days). Sourced from a sandstone site at 600m elevation in the Camporeale territory of Sicily. Organic and biodynamic farming, hand harvested, spontaneous fermentation on the skins in concrete, matured one year in untoasted 25hL (huge!) oak barrels, minimal added sulfur.
Beautiful golden color, intense and complex nose of crushed stone, dried white flowers and an intriguing blend of savory spices and herbs, well-structured yet remains elegant on the palate, dry finish with noticeable tannins. Great personality. Pair with fish and chips or a nice cheese and olive board. (vineyards pictured below)
Ledogar - La Compagnon Corbieres 2020
Syrah (60%) with a 40% co-fermented blend of Carignan and Grenache from Corbieres. Grown in clay limestone, sandstone and red clay at the edge of a pine forest. Vines were planted in 1948. Organic (certified Ecocert since 2006) and biodynamic practices are used in the vineyards - which are tended to with horses and donkeys. Spontaneous fermentation, unfiltered, unfined (vegan friendly), very minimal S02 additions. Plum, cherry cola, black olive, hint of funk, fine tannins.
Grapes are hand-harvested, destemmed and crushed by foot. Controlled temperature during the fermentation at around 22 degrees. Must is tasted daily to decide on the length of the fermentation. Wine is aged in combo of clay eggs and neutral barrels.
Pair with lamb or bacon cheeseburgers.
(Xavier and Mathieu Ledogar pictured below)
Ledogar - Maccabeu Vin de Pays de l'Aude 2020
100% Macabeo (Macabeu or Maccabeu, also known as Viura in Spain for white Rioja production). Matured in combo of clay eggs and neutral oak barrels.
North-east exposure. Limestone-sand and clay. Single vineyard planted in 1992.
Grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed. Natural alcoholic fermentation with indigenous yeasts that can last up to one month. Bottling just after the fermentation is over (December or January). Light filtration at bottling.
Very clean and elegant. Beautifully balanced with notes of pear, green apple, and stony minerality atop a taut, acid-driven medium bodied palate.
Xavier Ledogar has worked this 22-hectare domain since he was 12 years old and took complete control over it in 1997, changing its name from Domaine Grand Lauze to Domaine Ledogar. The vineyards in the Boutenac terroir near Carcassonne, are spread around the village of Ferrals-les-Corbières.
In 1998, one of his first changes Xavier made to the family domain, of which he was of the fourth generation of custodians, was to stop selling the grapes to the local co-op and instead use them to make outstanding wines himself. Certified organic by Ecocert since 2006, and they use horses and donkeys to help tend the land.
Xavier was joined by his brother, Mathieu in 2004, and they converted the vineyards to adhere to biodynamic principles, such as using the lunar calendar and herbal and plant teas as fertilizers.
As Members of the association "Change the Aude county into wine", the young dynamic winegrowers campaign for an authentic expression of their terroir. Engaged artisans with a big heart, they are certainly part of the rising stars of the appellation Corbières.
“Our wines are meant to be shared – they are for friends and long-winded conversations.” - Xavier Ledogar