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A richly textured yet refreshing wine with aromas of mango, jasmine and stone fruits underpinned by a delicious flinty and mineral character.
This 15-hectare estate is the passion of Guilhem Viau, who produces multi award-winning wines from vineyards situated at 658 metres’ altitude on the first spurs of the Cevennes and Massif Central hills. The Dame Jeanne range is named after his ancestor whom Guilhem describes as ‘an elegant, beautiful, very vivacious lady; a shepherdess on the high plains of the Bergerie du Capucin’, while ‘Les 100 Pas du Berger’ translates as the ‘100 Steps of the Shepherd’, which pays homage to path she trod. The vineyards are cultivated sustainably respecting the environment of this rugged landscape and allowing for the full expression of the garrigue and wild herbs that characterise this countryside.
2019 marks a return to a more classic profile than the previous year. There was less rain than in 2018; the rain fell mainly in autumn and winter, with a marked absence during the summer which experienced a series of heatwaves. Managing the water levels was a key issue in the vineyards. The vines were in excellent health at harvest and the grapes reached good levels of maturity.
The grapes come from the Pic Saint Loup appellation, the most northerly in the Languedoc, at the base of the Cevennes and Massif Central. However, as the Pic Saint Loup appellation only covers red and rose wines, this white wine is produced under the IGP of Saint Guilhem le Desert. The soil is chalky-clay on marly sub-soil which imparts elegance to the wines. The climate is influenced by the Mediterranean Sea which is 15 miles away, but it is also continental due to the surrounding hills. The diurnal temperature variation can be significant, with over 25°C difference between day and night, promoting a long growing season, resulting in concentrated wines with excellent balance. Average annual rainfall is 1,000mm which nourishes the vines throughout the warm, dry summer. The vineyards are cultivated sustainably, ploughing takes place to ensure good aeration of the soil and since 2020 the estate is in conversion to organic status. Harvesting takes place in the cool of the night.
The Chardonnay grapes were harvested in two tranches, the first to obtain grapes with high natural acidity and the second tranche, one week later, with higher aromatic expression and body. The grapes were gently pressed and transferred to stainless steel tanks at cool temperatures to clarify the juice. Each variety was vinified separately and later blended. Fermentation took place with selected yeasts at 16 to 17°C in stainless steel tanks to retain the fruitiness of the blend. Vinified without oak, maturation took place in tank on the fine lees with bâtonnage to impart texture.
An expressive wine with aromas of mango, jasmine and star anise leading to a richly textured palate with balancing freshness and lovely flinty character which carries through to a long, elegant finish.
Chardonnay 70%, Roussanne 15%, Viognier 15%
Producer: Bergerie du CapucinGrape Varieties: BlendedOptimum Drinking: Within 4 yearsWine Style: An expressive textural and fruity whiteAlcohol by Volume: 13.5%Closure: CorkCountry: FranceStyle / Colour: White
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