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Profile: Marc Valette - Winemaker - Saint-Chinian – AOC Languedoc-Roussillon - France


Marc Valette
Winemaker Saint-Chinian – AOC Languedoc-Roussillon - France

Source: thewinedoctor.com - 2005

Domaine Canet Valette is run by Marc Valette, a young vigneron who worked his first vintage in 1992. Marc's first exposure to wine was through his grandfather, who had tended vines and made wine in Minervois. In 1975 Marc and his father began to purchase vineyards, starting with an overgrown and neglected 11 ha, the first task being to rescue these vines from the weeds and encroaching vegetation. Like many, the grapes they grew went to the local co-operative, but in 1992 they rented a winery and vinified the wine themselves. Marc's passion for his wine grew, and in 1998 he invested a considerable amount of money in building his own winery and cellar, equipped with stainless steel for fermentation on the upper level, the wine being run to the lower barrel cellar by gravity. In the meantime, the domain has grown in size to 18 ha on limestone-clay soil just outside the village of Cessenon.


Practices at Domaine Canet Valette lean towards the artisanal. The carefully tended Carignan, Cinsaut, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre are picked later than other producers, with yields between 18 and 30 hl/ha. They are fermented with extended cuvaison, sometimes for months, and with repeated pigeage, and it's not unknown for a bare-skinned Valette to jump into the vat and achieve this with his own foot. The style is one of maximum flavour, extraction, concentration and tannin, and the wines are bottled unfiltered and unfined. There are two wonderfully named cuvées of St Chinian produced here: Le Vin Maghani, named after a festival in the Rubáiyát of Omar Kháyyam, which is Syrah and Grenache, and Une et Mille Nuits, a more wide-ranging blend.


www.canetvalette.com
AOC Languedoc-Roussillon - France
e-mail : contact(at)canetvalette.com

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