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Coteaux d'ENGRAVIES - Thomas Piquemal

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Coteaux d'Engravies, among the best estate in Ariege

coteaux-engravied-thomas-piquemalHave you ever tasted a wine from Ariege? The vineyards benefiting from this Geographical Indication of Origin situated between South-West and Roussillon are counted on the fingers of the hand ... and are all unknown outside the department!

There is no other word, we were taped by the wines of the Domaine des Coteaux d'Engraviès, which immediately integrated our selection. Let's face it, we would never have discovered this unique domain without the recommendation of a renowned oenologist, originating in this region and now based in Bordeaux. The domain of the Coteaux d'Engraviès, still anonymous domain (until when?) produces beautiful wines very spicy, even peppery. In short, original and unique, vinified by a passionate, in organic and in the rules of the art.

Created in 1998 by Claire and Philippe Babin, this tiny 8-hectare vineyard, located at the crossroads of three climatic influences, can count on high-quality clay and limestone soils located between 350 and 450 meters above sea level. The Coteaux d'Engraviès enjoy a true climatic particularity. The predominantly Mediterranean climate induces rather low precipitation and a high maturity of sugars. On the other hand, the mountain climate favors the aromatic complexity, preserves the acidity and allows the effect of Foehn which protects the vineyard from the heavy rains at the time of the warm seasons. Finally, Atlantic influence diminishes as a result of drought.

Thomas Piquemal took over the Domaine des Coteaux d'Engraviès in 2014, to find his land after several years of exile (five years in Burgundy, Meursault and Nuits Saint Georges and several experiments in Minervois). Accompanied during several years of transition by the young retired Philippe Babin, and monitored financially by investors passionate about the challenge, Thomas Piquemal modernizes the vineyard with the ambition to broaden its influence hitherto limited to the region. Indeed, it is already considered by the good local restaurateurs like the great local wine impossible to circumvent. But why not make known in Paris these wines so healthy that so please Pamiers, Foix, Mirepoix or Tarascon, and whose stocks are systematically exhausted in the year?

We were impressed by the means used on this vineyard, in an area that is not renowned for the quality of its wines, whose name will be of no help to make them known! And yet, the know-how is there, and the vines are coming of age: auspicious for the future!

The field is led from the beginning in organic farming, with the aim of cultivating healthy plants, less susceptible to diseases, and thus to produce better wines. In his search for the expression of his exceptional terroir, Thomas Piquemal limits yields to 35 or 25 hectoliters per hectare, which is, for example, lower than what is done in Bordeaux, and identical to famous appellations such as Châteauneuf- from the pope ! It does not add oenological products, nor aromatization in new wood, nor stripping by gluing.

In short, healthy wines coming from healthy land and vines.

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