Domaine Cabirau “Serge & Nicolas” AOP Maury Sec
WHY WE LOVE IT
- Named “Serge & Nicolas” after vigneron Serge Soulatge (who tends to Dan’s vines) and winemaker Nicolas Burger of the VTV cooperative (of which Dan is now a full-fledged member!).
- Vineyard holdings consist of nearly 23 acres in total: 15.2 Grenache, 1.5 Syrah, 3.6 Carignan, 2.4 Macabeu. Vineyards are planted in the village of Maury in soils dominated by black schist.
- Parcels vary in age, and include about 13 acres of 25-30 year old vines, 2 acres of 40 year old vines, 4 acres of 65 year old vines and 3 acres of Carignan planted in 2009.
Varietal Composition: 63% Grenache, 23% Carignan, 14% Syrah
Elaboration: Manually harvested. The Grenache was unoaked, the Syrah and Carignan underwent malolactic fermentation and 5 months maturation in 500 L demi-muids.
Tasting Notes: The softness of Grenache is balanced by the mineral backbone extracted from the schistous soils. The Syrah and Carignan add pronounced spicy and peppery components. Intense yet subtle.
2015 – 91-93 Wine Advocate
2016 – 91 Wine Advocate | 93 Jeb Dunnuck
2017 – 90 Wine Advocate
2019 – 92 Jeb Dunnuck | 90 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.