Camprigou by Domaine du Tabatau
red licorice - cherry - pepper - leather
Domaine Tabatau was born out the desire of Bruno Gracia, to farm the land and showcase the distinct terroir of Saint-Chinian. The name Tabatau means the child of the “tabataire”, the village tobacconist. In homage to his grandfather, who was the village tobacconist, he decided to name the winery Domaine du Tabatau.
Bruno operates out of a small winery in the tiny village of Assignan. His vineyards are composed of red clay and limestone, overlying sandstone bedrock at 250m to 300m (800 to 1000 ft) above sea level. Here, the cool evenings, the Mediterranean climate, and cold, violent winter winds sweep down from the Montagne Noire. The result is a Grenache grape of intense complexity and character.
Bruno employs sustainable farming methods in his vineyards, using organic compost, and planting grass between every other row of vines. All harvesting is done by hand and yields range from 20 to 30 hl/ha.
It has taken Bruno over thirty years to get where he is now. After finishing his agricultural studies in Montpellier, Bruno first worked in the vineyards at Château Saint-Andre in Pézenas. He then worked as a sommelier in Montpellier and later in Paris. In 1989 Bruno returned to the vineyards where he accepted an enlightening apprenticeship at Mas Daumas Gassac, eventually becoming the head viticulture manager. In 1997 he made the big leap to go out on his own and purchased vines (some between 80 and 100 years old) in AOC Saint-Chinian.
In 2001 he was joined by his brother Jean-Paul, who left his career in the military in 2000 to study oenology and viticulture. Recently, Jean-Paul left the domaine and started his own small winery. Bruno’s self-effacing charm, sense of fun, and passion for what the does, is the secret to producing wines that exhibit character and personality. After first tasting these wines at the domaine, we found that they had something intangible that goes beyond just good, clean winemaking.
40% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 15% Carignan, 10% Mourvèdre. Hand-harvested. 100% de-stemmed. One month maceration (cuvaison) followed by a blending of the free-run juice with the pressed juice. This cuvée is then aged for 10 months in tank. The wine is fined with egg whites, but not filtered.