Badet Clément, specialists in branded varietal and premium AOC wines from the south of France, is making a new Burgundy style premium organic range of wines at Domaine de la Métairie d’Alon in the Aude, one of the two vineyard purchases they made in 2015 as they stepped into the world of growing their own grapes for the first time in their 20 year history.
Domaine de la Métairie d’Alon is a 25-hectare estate planted with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines, located in a mountainous area around the village of Magrie, between Limoux and Roquetaillade, in the Languedoc’s Haute Vallée de l’Aude. It’s composed of exceptional terroirs, the highest in the Languedoc, devoted exclusively to the production of high-end Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. The grapes are all organically grown on calcareous clay soil similar to that in Burgundy which allow these two Burgundian varietals to express themselves to their fullest potential.
The purchase of this Domaine was the result of a long search by 5th generation Burgundian winemaker, and founder of Badet Clement, Laurent Delaunay and his wife, Catherine, who looked over a period of many years throughout the Languedoc to find an exceptional terroir from which to make outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It was during this search that they met Jean-Louis Denois, a pioneer of Pinot Noir in Limoux with 30 years of experience, who wanted to sell his vineyards to winemakers who were passionate about these Burgundian grape varieties.
The wines in the new premium, organic Domaine de la Métairie d’Alon range have been made using a Burgundian approach inspired by Laurent Delaunay’s Burgundian origins. The wines are all made from the region’s two classic indigenous grapes, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and they fall into two quality levels:
- The ‘Le Village’ wines: Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir rosé and Chardonnay all in the Pays d’Oc IGP category and made from blends from various parcels around the village of Magrie.
- The ‘Cuvées Parcellaires’ or Single Vineyard wines: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir made from the very best parcels and effectively the Languedoc equivalent of a Burgundian premier or grand cru, reflecting the intrinsic character of their terroir.
Solaire, Pays d’Oc, single vineyard Pinot Noir (looking for listings)
Named after the 17-year-old vineyard planted specifically to produce exceptional Pinot Noir wines in which it was grown, this wine spends 9 months in oak and has elegance, depth and body. A touch of warm rhubarb crumble, characteristic of great Pinot Noirs, can be detected and the finish is fresh with a hint of liquorice and very silky tannins.
This is an extremely classy wine which is a great match with a rare roast beef.
Le Palajo, single vineyard Limoux-Chardonnay (looking for listings)
Made from Chardonnay grapes grown in a single plot at 280m which are whole-bunch pressed according to the Champagne technique. Fermented in oak barrels 50% new and 50% 1-3 year old and then aged on the lees for 8 months which gives a hint of candied chestnut to the liquid. A very aromatic, elegant nose of delicate jasmine, orange blossom, a touch of lemon zest, anise and a little fresh apricot. On the palate, the wine is silky yet extremely delicate with incredible length.
This expressive wine will work well with a cheese soufflé.
La Métairie, Pays d’Oc single vineyard Pinot Noir (looking for listings)
Named after the vineyard in which the grapes are grown, La Métairie comes from the Domaine’s highest plot at 414m making it the most Burgundian style wine in the new range due to the altitude allowing the grapes to benefit from fresh night time temperatures and warm sunny days. Aged for 9 months in 4 and 5 year old oak barrels with 10% in new oak, the resulting complex wine is has a beautifully expressive nose of berry fruit and spice (white pepper) with a touch of rhubarb that is characteristic of great Pinot Noirs. Its palate is refreshing with good length, elegant tannins and slightly peppery with a hint of liquorice on the finish – delicious!
Chardonnay Le Village, Pays d’Oc (looking for listings)
The Chardonnay grapes for this wine come from 5-25 year old vines and 75% of the cuvée is aged for 8 months on the lees in barrels. The remaining 25% is aged at low temperatures in stainless steel. Complex, long, intense and fresh this wine has flavours of white peach, ripe lemon and fresh banana, followed by notes of lemon tart, barley sugar, and a floral touch with subtle notes of hazelnut and dried Banana.
Delicious served with baked Seabass
Pinot Noir Le Village, Pays d’Oc (looking for listings)
This wine is made from a blend of different parcels all situated at around 400m altitude, some of the highest in the Languedoc. 40% of the wines are aged in 3 and 4-year-old barrels for 6 months. Red berries, peonies, roses with a touch of ginger and cherry are present on the nose and the wine is fresh yet round on the palate with a touch of liquorice and white pepper. Long, elegant and balanced, it shows real typicity of a Burgundian style Pinot Noir.
It goes down a treat with a plate of mixed charcuterie
Pinot Noir rosé Le Village, Pays d’Oc (looking for listings)
The grapes for this wine come from two different plots both facing North at altitudes of around 360m. The wine is aged on the lees in stainless steel at low temperatures for 8 months without malolactic fermentation in order to maintain as much freshness and vivacity as possible. A very pale delicate colour with a mineral nose showing aromas of blackcurrant, pomegranate, rose petal and grapefruit. Lively and fresh on the palate with a fruity finish.
Serve as an aperitif or with a warm chicken salad
Laurent Delaunay, President of Badet Clement says, ‘Outside of my native Burgundy, I firmly believe, and I’m not the only one, that these terroirs in our new vineyards in Limoux are capable of producing the best expression of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay outside of Burgundy.’ He continues, ‘It has taken many years of research to find the right vineyards, and now that I have, I intend to dedicate myself to showing the wine world just what can be achieved here, and I hope that in doing so it will continue to raise awareness of the Languedoc as one of the best and most exciting wine regions in the world.’