Owned by brothers Yves and Hugues Ricome for over 30 years, Domaine La Croix Gratiot covers 27 hectares in Montagnac in the Coteaux du Languedoc. After years of selling to the local co-operative, Yves started bottling his own wine in 2005. His daughter Anaïs has now taken charge, after working for some time in New Zealand with Matt Thomson, and makes wonderfully pure wines that reflect the potential of the local varieties with which she works.
The Picpoul grapes grow close to the commune of Mèze on a chalky plateau. The proximity of the zone to the sea means cool maritime breezes moderate the climate, making it ideal for growing this white grape variety. Its naturally high acidity is retained to give a wine of real interest and liveliness.
2016 was a late ripening vintage, marked by significant drought; a lack of rain in both winter and summer was confounded by severe evaporation caused by hot, windy conditions with practically no precipitation from mid-June onwards. The few days of rain in September relieved the vines of severe water stress, which was essential for making great wines.
The grapes were harvested at night to ensure the grapes were cool when arriving at the winery. This meant that the delicate fruit character was kept fresh before pressing and the aromatic style of the wine was guaranteed. The wine was fermented and stored in stainless steel which ensured no oxidation of the precious stone fruit character. A cool fermentation (around 15°C) also helped preserve the fruit purity. The wine rested in the winery for three months before release.
Bright yellow in colour with vibrant citrus, pear and spice notes on the nose. The palate is full but extremely well balanced, with fresh Picpoul acidity and pure fruit flavours. The finish is long and mouthwatering, with complexity of stone fruit, spice and minerality.