- Posted by Terroir Selections
- On August 20, 2014
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Laurent Vaillé started Grange des Pères in the beginning of the 1990s. He owns close to 10 hectares of vineyards in the famous hillsides of Aniane, within the Côteaux du Languedoc AOC. However his wines cannot carry the AOC label since he uses varieties not authorised within the AOC: they are Vins de Pays de l’Hérault. Whilst his red has reached the status of iconic wine from the Languedoc, his white (900 bottles produced every year) is also very much sought after.
Aniane, Languedoc – France
Laurent Vaillé – Owner and Winemaker
Laurent Vaillé, a former physiotherapist, started this domaine in 1992 after having worked for some of greatest vignerons in France, including Gerard Chave from Hermitage and Coche Dury in Burgundy. For Laurent, it was a welcome return to his family’s wonderful heritage and he now has 11 hectares of Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cabernet Sauvignon vines in Aniane (one of the most infamous villages in the Languedoc thanks to the somewhat unwelcome interest from players such as Mondavi).
His wines are sold on strict allocations around the world, and we are lucky enough to have been allocated just a few, which are certain not to wait around for long in our cellars.
As Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate says:
This estate’s wines are terribly hard to locate in the United States, selling out instantly upon arrival on our shores. Nevertheless, it is important for The Wine Advocate to report on them as doing so may inspire young winemakers in the Languedoc to follow in the footsteps of Laurent Vaille, the dedicated, highly talented winemaker of Domaine La Grange des Pères.
The Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon vines are situated in a Northerly aspect on limestone soil at 300 metres altitude, whilst the Mourvèdre faces due South on pierres roulées, like in Chateauneuf du Pape. Yields are kept down to a minimal 25 hl/ha thanks to bunch thinning and manual sorting of the grapes. He uses “reasoned” viticultural practices, keeping the use of chemicals to a bare minimum, cultivating the soil, removing leaves to let the generous sunlight into the canopy and performing a green harvest where necessary.
The winemaking is traditional in style, each variety being vinified separately using natural yeasts and long maceration. The wines spend up to 24 months in barrel (one third new), but the oak is seamlessly integrated even upon release.