Black Magic!

Mas des Chimères – L’heretique 2013 – Merlot, Cabernet, Syrah – Pays Des Coteaux Du Salagou. IGP

Mas des Chimères or Chimera is named after the mythical creature mentioned by Homer in the Illiad – Homer’s brief description in the Iliad is the earliest surviving literary reference: “a thing of immortal make, not human, lion-fronted and snake behind, a goat in the middle, and snorting out the breath of the terrible flame of bright fire.

Guilhem Dardé has been making wine in the small village of Octon in Herault, south west France for more than 40 Years. Octon occupies position on the famous Terrasses De Larzac, famed for producing wines with complexity, depth and flavour. The vines must work hard here in order to survive, the terroir is both clay and basalt, the altitude is high and the lack of moisture and variance in temperature create a difficult environment.

Guilhem produces a number of wines all of which have distinct character, he farms 23 hectares around Octon on the terres rouges around the lac de Salagou, having lived in this tiny village all his life.

Interestingly, Octon which has a current population of just 450 is something of a curiosity, it’s very quiet and has struggled to stay alive, the local school almost closing due to the decline in population.

Originally a farming village, Octon actually used to produce the famous Roquefort cheese before it was transported to the nearby caves for ageing.

L’heretique is an unusual wine, consisting of Merlot, Cabernet and a dash of Syrah, there is an inkiness to the appearance, the dark robes revealing a depth and complexity. The Merlot tempers the cherry freshness of the Cabernet, whilst providing an almost cassis note. The Syrah providing a finish of spice which lasts well on the pallete, there are notes of deep dark fruits and a hint of minerality and leather.

The wines from this unusual domain are all biodynamic, they are farmed using the lunar cycles and there is great sympathy to the old ways. Each wine being allowed to develop and almost magical character. Best Tasted in harmony with the biodynamic calendar, but equally special when not.

Matching with Pork/beef dishes, grilled meats and cheeses, particularly Roquefort. Excellent!

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