Close to the Languedoc’s spectacular vertical limestone outcropping known as Pic Saint Loup, fourteenth-generation vigneron Jean-Benoît Cavalier runs the historic Château de Lascaux—assuming control of the estate in 1984—after finishing his degree in Agricultural Engineering. In 1990, he consolidated the vineyards, restructured the ancient cellars, and created the official domaine. With his daughters now learning the trade, the fifteenth generation, the vineyards of Château de Lascaux have been farmed by the Cavalier family since the sixteenth century! The name of the domaine, “Lascaux” comes from the limestone specific to its vineyard sites, which Jean-Benoît has expanded from twenty-five to eighty-five hectares of vines over the past forty years.
The domaine is surrounded by three-hundred hectares of forest, filled with green oaks, pines, and garrigue. The setting is reflected in the Château de Lascaux wines, which show notes of laurel, thyme, rosemary, réglisse (licorice), and mint. The vineyards are nestled along the foothills of the Cevennes, a mountain range that sits in the heart of the Midi. These foothills protect the vines from the cool Mistral and Tramontagne winds, and bring more rain to an otherwise dry climate. Additionally, the stony soil lends a freshness, purity, finesse and complexity to the Lascaux wines that sets them apart from other Languedoc wines. The vineyards have been certified organic since 2009, and then biodynamic in 2018.
The 2020 Garrigue rouge is a blend of 60% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 10% Mourvèdre from 20-year-old vines. The grapes were harvested both mechanically and by hand, depending on the plot. The berries were entirely destemmed. Each varietal was fermented separately, using traditional winemaking techniques, including a 3-4-day maceration followed by approximately fourteen days of fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks. The resulting wines were blended and then aged in concrete tanks for 8 months before bottling.
Deep garnet color. Red fruited nose with hints of pepper and dried herbs. The palate shows black cherry, and boysenberry fruit with a touch of savory herbs, black olive and dried thyme. Nicely balanced, dusty tannins round out the juicy, yet elegant finish.