Alain Chabanon Le Petit Merle Aux Alouettes 2020


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Alcohol: 13.5%

Grape(s): 100% Merlot

Localization: Languedoc, France

Tasting Notes: One of the greatest successes of Domaine Alain Chabanon is undoubtedly this vintage bearing the sweet name of Le Merle aux Alouettes. Produced since 1999, this fantastic cuvée made from 100% Merlot is a real monster of complexity. Licorice nuances, rich and silky substance, devilishly long and intense finish; This is a wine to decant for two to three hours, or to keep for a few years in order to enjoy it at its peak. At the beginning of 1990, Alain Chabanon was offered 14 hectares in the town of Jonquières. Its acquisition is of quality, old vines on beautiful terroirs, with several plots and different microclimates. The estate is divided up, it is present in the communes of Montpeyroux, Saint-Saturnin, Jonquières, Lagamas and Saint-André-de-Sangonis.

Food Pairing: Sauteed goat with new vegetables, Provençal-style rabbit crepinettes, Confit pork belly, sweet onions, Braised veal paupiettes with olives.

The Domain: As the son of two teachers, nothing predisposed me to take on a vineyard and become a winegrower. Even if my father taught me, from my adolescence, the taste of wine and its cultural dimension.

My first grape harvest at the age of 14 gave me the impression that working in the vines was uninteresting, and my dream was to rear that proud and independent breed of cattle, the Aubrac, on the plateau of the same name.

It was with this in mind that I started studying agronomy in Bordeaux. And then, work placements in the wine-producing chateaux and some decisive encounters with their cellar masters changed my point of view. I discovered that running a vineyard and winemaking could be absolutely fascinating.

After specializing in enology, I spent several years alongside winemakers of repute: Alain Brumont in Madiran, then in Corsica, and finally as Director of a wine cooperative in the Gard, to try and demonstrate that fine wines could also be made within the cooperative system.

The next step was to go independent and purchase my first vines. After passing a “vines wanted” ad at the beginning of the nineties, I found the perfect spot at Montpeyroux.

My vision of wine can be summed up in two words – finesse and elegance. I seek to make wines that are different, that have real personality.

Wines that can stand comparison with some of the best crus in the world, and can complement the finest cuisine.

My other belief is that you have to know how to take your time. A great wine should be even better in 10 or 15 years. You need to look beyond the immediate.