Domaine de Clovallon – Palagret 2012
I spent the better part of this week just north of Manchester, furthering my wine education (as any who are serious in the study must do) at the very lovely Northcote hotel & restaurant. On the last day of classes, myself and several others took part of their “Seasonal Lunch” which at 29£ is a pretty tasty deal as this is at a one Michelin star restaurant which does indeed live up to its rating. Upon asking the sommelier what to have with cottage pie and pigeon plates, he recommended a bottle from Languedoc that I’d of course never heard of called, Palagret by Domaine de Clovallon.
In attempting to piece together something about this winery, I learned that it’s just north of Béziers and apparently just on the edge of AOC Faugères. I’m not sure if the little bits I’ve found are stating that it’s just inside or just outside but given that owner, Catherine Roque planted a number of grapes that aren’t permitted within these southern regional appellations (namely Pinot Noir) I’d assume it was just outside and she was thus able to experiment a bit although it means that the wines are Vins de Pays d’Oc. Her whites go a bit further using other “northern” grapes such as Chardonnay, Riesling, and Petite Manseng.
I suppose it’s the 500m altitude that makes it all work in the end or perhaps it’s the fact that her winemaking daughter, Alix adds in a touch of the south to make it all work. In this case with the Palagret, there’s a decent amount of Syrah in the blend (the white uses Roussanne), although I suspect that there’s a bit of unstated Mourvèdre as well given that it has a rustic touch to it that I don’t usually find in either Syrah nor Pinot Noir. Whatever the case, it works and I’d link off to their website for you to learn more but I’ll be damned if I can find one. I am happy to boast that given the 40£ price tag at the restaurant and its flavor profile, I thought it to be about a 14€ wine in the region and it turns out I was a touch off and it’s usually about 12€ which is a pretty decent price for a French wine at this level.
Lots happening in the nose. Touch of barnyard as well as rustic bramble and red fruit notes. This gives way to herbal notes as it opens up and presents a wine very free of constraints but still well-made. Very much medium plus in the body and paired well with the dishes.
Pinot Noir, Syrah 13.5% 12€