Domaine Cabirau Maury Sec Second Effort

Domaine Cabirau Maury Sec ‘Second Effort’


  • Beautiful, powerful and polite, it is drinkable now and will improve for a decade in bottle.
  • In 2015 and again in 2021, the Clerk of the Weather beamed down on these vines.

Varietal Composition: 62% Grenache, 38% Syrah

Elaboration: Late frost cut yields to their lowest level ever, less than 1½ tons per acre. Ancient Grenache gave less than a ton; Grenache planted in 1985, gave 1½, the Syrah a little less. But the fruit was perfect. Fermentation was quick and easy, the blend done in March. The wine rested in old foudres until bottling, unfined and unfiltered, in December 2022.

Tasting Notes: Deep but not opaque black ruby color. The aromas feature black fruits, mostly cherry and raspberry, with faint touches of sage and iron. The palate is fresh, vivid and sturdy, full bodied but light on its feet. There is a silky mouthfeel balanced by refreshing acidity, with moderate, ripe tannins. The harmonious finish lasts for over half a minute.


2021 – 94 Jeb Dunnuck | 90-93 Wine Advocate


From 1980-2007, importer Dan Kravitz sold OPW (other people’s wine). In ’07 he took the plunge and bought 13.5 acres of Grenache vineyards in Roussillon, the French part of Catalonia. The vineyard is 20 miles inland from the Mediterranean and 20 miles north of Spain. Ten acres were 20 years old, the rest 60. The name “Cabirau” has been on the plat map for 100 years. The vines were planted on steep slopes of schist, dark sharp rock that gives a distinctive mineral character to Grenache, different from the earthiness of Cotes du Rhone planted on flat vineyards of smooth white river stones.

Fast forward to 2018. There are now 23 acres (15.2 Grenache, 1.5 Syrah, 3.6 Carignan, 2.4 Macabeu) in the village of Maury, previously known for dessert wines. There have always been two bottlings. As the increasingly prestigious Roussillon Appellation requires at least 3 varietals, the first bottlings were IGP Grenache. Today the basic bottling is Roussillon, a blend of 70% Grenache, with Syrah and Carignan. The flagship bottling uses the new Appellation “Maury Sec”. Based on old vine Grenache, it also incorporates Syrah and Carignan.

In 2008 Dan became the first American member of La Tautavelloise, a progressive Cooperative in a village adjoining Maury. The next year the two Cooperatives of Tautavel merged with one in Vingrau to form VTV (Les Vignerons de Tautavel Vingrau). Dan’s Cabirau has become the ambassador for the quality-obsessed team at VTV, with sales throughout Europe as well as the U.S., and soon (knock on wood) Asia.