The wild garrigue country upon which Guilhem Dardé grows his old Syrah, Grenache and Carignan vines has been tended by his family for generations. Originally a conventionally mixed farm, by the 1940s it was entirely down to vines, and Guilhem’s father was one of the original members of the co-operative, which was founded in 1943. All of the fruit was sold to the co-op, and for the first 20 years after taking over from his father Guilhem continued in the same tradition, growing fruit upon which he expended much love and effort, pulling down the yields to increase the quality, only for the co-op to pay by quantity. Frustrated, in 1993 he withdrew from the contract, scandalising the village, bought some vinification tanks, and began to make and market his own wine. After growing vines for his entire working life, he finally tasted his own wine.

The vineyards here lie on arid clay, schist and granite slopes, with a red soil formed of decomposed basaltic slate. Poor soil and low rainfall force low yields and ensure high concentration in the fruit. Low intervention farming techniques are used – ploughing, with no use of synthetic products, and hand harvesting. The musts are fermented under the indigenously occurring yeasts in tanks, and there is no use of sulphur during the vinification – only a tiny addition at bottling takes place. The two wines which we list come from the Coteaux de Salagou, the slopes around the lake of Salagou, and are marked by the deep colours brought by the iron-rich soil. L’Oeillade is pure Cinsault, whilst the Marie et Joseph (named after his mother and father) is generally Carignan pur from old bush vines. Both are delicious and authentic artisanale wines.

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MAS DE CHIMERÈS Coteaux du Salagou

Single

6 +

2015 L’OEILLADE Mas de Chimères

16.50

15.00

2014 CUVÉE MARIE ET JOSEPH Mas de Chimères

16.50

15.00

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