`Le Pal` Grenache Gris VdP de l'Hérault, Boulevard Napoléon, Languedoc, France, 2018
Named after the street the winery is located on in the village of La Livinière, Minervois, Boulevard Napoléon is the partnership between restaurant owner Trevor Gulliver and winemaker Benjamin Darnault. Seeing the potential in the vineyards located by his holiday home, Trevor started making the wines and then showed them to his other partner, chef Fergus Henderson, who was more than impressed, as were we! Each wine is a classic expression of the varietal grown on the dry, stony slopes of the south of France - yet they retain a vibrancy and definition that marks them out from the crowd.Grapes were all harvested by hand into small cases before undergoing a slow and gentle whole bunch pressing in a bag press. After one day resting on its skins, the juice was racked off into one and two year old 225 litre barrels for fermentation. The finished wine was then aged in barrel on its lees for one year without racking. A light filtration occurred just prior to bottling.Heavy rain episodes in autumn 2014 were followed by very little rain in winter and spring of 2015. There was 30% less rain than the previous vintage. Early flowering led to a ten day advance in the growth cycle. Summer was dry especially in July, but the grapes did not suffer drought thanks to the water reserves in the soil. Harvest began on the 19th of August and ended on the 1st of October. September was marked by Indian summer weather, which had a positive impact on the vineyards and final stages of ripening. Fruit is sourced exclusively from a 75 year old single vineyard situated on stony terraces in the high hills of La Livinière, in the Minervois region. Here, soils are predominantly limestone and clay with the age of vines averaging 70 years. The wines show brightness, ripeness, definition and character - elements which can be largely attributed to these older vines. Grenache grapes are picked in two passes, as both the Noir and Gris grapes are grown in the same plot.
Food pairing: Grenache Gris will pair with a wide variety of foods from fish dishes to rich meats like lamb. The secret to pairing with Grenache Gris is to consider its spiced flavors of cumin and tropical “greeness” in your tool kit when pairing with food.
This wine is rich and supple on the palate with subtle notes of hazelnut, smoke and liquorice. The ageing in older oak barrels gives this an intensity. The finish is fresh, long and lingering.
Feature(s): Vegan, Vegetarian
Winemaker: Benjamin Darnault
Alcohol (ABV): 14.5 %