Preferred Varietals

The Syrah and Viognier are particularly well suited to the poor limestone soils of the Saint Chinian region. They are both increasingly important varietals in our vineyards. Thanks to the vast experience we have in the planting of these grapes, we are able to produce a diverse range of wines.

The signature of Laurent Miquel wines is their elegance and balance. To continue the adventure of the ‘great whites of the Languedoc’, Laurent decided to create other cuvées from aromatic grape varieties. He is the first winemaker in France to plant several acres of the mythical “Albariño”.

Noble grape varieties, majestic wine

 

SYRAH, SUMPTUOUS AND SEDUCTIVE

Its origins are rather controversial and many legends exist about Syrah. It may be introduced in France by the Crusaders on the 13th century or by the Romains at the beginning of the Christian area. “For me, says Laurent, I’ve always preferred the idea supported by the old wine-growers who reported that Syrah was born in France.” Scientists agree: Syrah is French.

This grape variety loves Mediterranean climates and poor soils. Such a combination allows it to produce wines that are rich and complex, with characteristic aromas of black pepper, cherry, spice, leather and roasted hazelnut. Increasingly appreciated by connoisseurs, this grape variety has the promise of a great wine.

Our Syrah comes mainly from the Cazal Viel vineyard. Henri Miquel planted his first Syrah vines at the age of 17 years and their average age is 25 years old today. Poor soils and the ideal microclimate of Cazal Viel give a structured Syrah with elegant scents of red fruits, violet and hints of spice.

 

VIOGNIER, OPULENT AND SENSUOUS

Viognier is of rare and mysterious origins. It probably came from Eastern Europe, arriving in France about 1,800 years ago. Its notoriety has long been established thanks to the Rhône Valley AOC’s: Condrieu and Château-Grillet.

Viognier is capricious and difficult to cultivate, it matures late and produces small fruits with particularly thick skins. It results in opulent wines with heady aromas evoking tropical fruits and white flowers, peach and apricot. We harvest the grapes in the cool of the night using high-tech refrigerated equipment in order to preserve maximum aromas and freshness.

The first plot of Viognier, planted by Henri Miquel in 1992 and vinified in 1995, was spectacular in quality. Our Viognier is mainly in plots in the Gauphine and lower Savignac, located at the edge of the Orb river. This river provides a beneficial freshness to the vineyard, thus allowing it to produce particularly aromatic Viognier.

 

ALBARINO, FRUITY AND GENEROUS

The Albarino is largely located in the north west of Spain, specifically in the Galicia region, where it is King. Since the Middles Ages, it may also be found in the north of Portugal. According to the legend, it was introduced by the monks of the Cluny monastery in Burgundy, while they were on a pilgrimage to Compostela. We are proud to return this grape variety to its country of origin and to create a new chapter in its history.

The small clusters provide good acidity and resistance to certain diseases due to its very thick skin. It is well-suited to the organic farming carried out in Auzines.

Albariño produces elegant, balanced wines with a complex bouquet and many nuances. This white grape variety is known for its freshness, its light acidity and generous fruit aromas. It is sometimes considered an Iberian version of Viognier as it is also very aromatic, with peach and apricot flavours.

To continue the tradition started by his father nearly 30 years ago, Laurent Miquel is the first winemaker in France to plant several plots of the mythical Albariño on the high altitude soils of the Auzines Estate, in Corbières. 14 ha have been planted over several plots and a smaller plot has been planted at the family estate in Cazal Viel in Cessenon sur Orb. The Languedoc climate is very interesting for this grape varietal. The vines are planted near water that is essential for keeping their freshness and balance before harvest time. Thus, we have all the elements that are necessary for the cultivation of a great white wine of the Languedoc region.