Calmel & Joseph

Twee namen, twee talenten

 

 Calmel & Joseph

 

Door: Martijn Brander, maart 2017

Calmel & Joseph is een ‘maison de négoce’. Een fenomeen dat circa 15 jaar geleden begon. Tot die tijd had je naast de grote coöperaties kleine gespecialiseerde wijnboeren die een maximale expressie van het terroir nastreefden. Steeds vaker zie je gepassioneerde ‘jonge’ wijnmakers die druiven en most kopen uit specifieke streken om daar wijn van te maken. Een fenomeen dat in de Bourgogne al flink is toegenomen. In de Languedoc kennen we vooral de grote ‘negociants’ als JeanJean, Foncalieu, Skalli, Gérard Bertrand. De laatste heeft vooral eigen wijngaarden en produceert wijnen van top-end tot supermarkt niveau, echter de meeste grote ‘négociants' concentreren zich op de grote volume bulk stromen.  

De zogenaamde ‘micro-négociants’ zijn er nog zeer beperkt in de Languedoc. Een duo dat opvalt is Calmel & Joseph. Zij hebben zich volledig gespecialiseerd in wijnen uit de regio Languedoc-Rousillon en behoren tot de absolute top. Laurent Calmel is de oenologist en werkte als flying winemaker in California, Moldavië, Chili, Australië, Spanje en diverse regio’s in Frankrijk. Jerome Joseph deed de hotelschool en had diverse functies in het buitenland. Nu is hij het creatieve- en commerciële brein. Ze werken nauw samen aan de vinificatie en het blenden en opvoeden van de wijnen. Ze produceren wijnen in het midden tot hogere segment die passen bij het Mediterrane terroir en aansluiten bij hun visie en overtuigingen. Het is hun ambitie om wijnen te ontwikkelen uit alle significante regio’s in de Languedoc-Rousillon.

De heren bieden een geweldige reis langs de wijnvelden van de Languedoc: een donkere stevige Corbières; kruidige Roussillon; de peperige heldere beet van Minervois; de kruiden en zwart fruit van Montpeyroux; het rode fruit en de elegantie van St-Chinian. Het is er allemaal, een schoolvoorbeeld masterclass van de Languedoc-Roussillon. Zes verschillende wijnlijntjes met twee tot zeven verschillende wijnen.

Calmel & Joseph werken samen met circa 50 wijnboeren uit de regio. Ze zijn betrokken bij alle belangrijke besluiten van snoeien tot plukken. Het fruit is van het grootste belang voor de kwaliteit van de wijn. De wijnen komen van vijftien AOC’s en in acht jaar tijd is het volume gegroeid van 3000 naar 700.000 fles. Inmiddels bezitten ze ook hun eigen wijngoed, Domaine de la Madone, in het dorp Montirat in de Aude. Een belangrijke nieuwe stap die wellicht een nieuwe fase inluidt. 

In hun opbouw van de range is het kwaliteitssysteem van de Bourgogne. De varietal Pays d’Oc Villa Blanche wijnen zijn van het niveau ‘regional wines’. De serie Les Languedoc zijn van het ‘Languedoc’ quality level. Les Terroirs kan je beschouwen als ‘villages’ kwaliteit en Les Crus van het niveau ‘Premier Crus’. De top van de pyramide wordt gevormd door de bijzondere Cuves van Les Cuvées Rares. 

Nu volgt een overzicht met de proefnotities en scores van Tamlyn Currin van het team van Jancis Robinson opgetekend op 11 Apr 2016:

 

VILLA BLANCHE

 

Villa Blanche

 

● Calmel & Joseph, Villa Blanche Sauvignon Blanc 2014 IGP Pays d'Oc100% Sauvignon Blanc. Light, but ripe, gooseberry nose. Juicy with just enough tart pep to give the wine a bit of bite, but deliciously free of New World tropical-fruited shouty sweetness. Greengage and just a hint of green fig. Leafy streak on the finish. Great uncomplicated stuff. (TC)12% Drink 2015-2016

16

● Calmel & Joseph, Villa Blanche 2015 Picpoul de PinetPale lemon. Bit of fruit bonbon on the

nose. Crisp and clean, melon and papaya. (TC)12.5% Drink 2016-2017

15

● Calmel & Joseph, Villa Blanche 2014 Picpoul de PinetJust a faint imprint of the scent of May

blossom and crushed leaf. Savoury, dry, citrus tinged with the taste of mint lingering in the mouth. A bit of sunflower seed and grapefruit pith. Salty. Very appetising, almost infused with botanicals - the vinous version of G&T! So very refreshing. (TC)12.5% Drink 2015-2017

16.5

● Calmel & Joseph, Villa Blanche Chardonnay 2015 IGP Pays d'OcPale gold. Delicate floral

aromas, wild honeysuckle and lemon verbena. Silky texture, soft herb and lemon veil drawn over white stone fruit. A light note of vanilla pod and cardamom. All the components are there, drawn in by a tense thread of acidity. Dry, understated and rather lovely. Surprisingly long. VGV (TC)13% Drink 2016-2018

16.5

● Calmel & Joseph, Villa Blanche Rosé Grenache 2015 IGP Pays d'OcPale peachy pink. Apricot- blossom perfume. Sappy and bright, without a hint of confection. Chock-full of juicy nectarine and apricot fruit, lightly restrained by dry elegance. For a Pays d'Oc rosé, this is exceptional.

(TC)12.5% Drink 2016-2017

16.5

● Calmel & Joseph, Villa Blanche Rosé Grenache 2014 IGP Pays d'Oc100% Grenache. Pale

provençal pink. Pretty, peachy, scented. Pink Lady apples and early-season raspberries – just before the real warmth of the sun has ripened them to sweetness. Delicate and dry with just a smidgeon of chalky texture on the finish. Very good rosé. I’d love to taste this alongside some Provence pinks. (TC)12.5% Drink 2015-2016

16

● Calmel & Joseph, Villa Blanche Pinot Noir 2015 IGP Pays d'OcTranslucent bright ruby. Cherry

and liquorice and wet twigs. So mouthwatering! The nose smells very sweet and fruity, but it's as dry as a bone with slightly grainy, fine tannins. Super-tangy cherry tucked tightly into the mid palate with a long cinnamon finish. Great stuff. GV (TC)13% Drink 2016-2017

16

● Calmel & Joseph, Villa Blanche Pinot Noir 2014 IGP Pays d'OcPale ruby. Very clean, pure, bell- like damson and unlike so many Pinots from warmer climes, not too sweet/thick smelling. Fresh and neat, cherry liquorice slicing across the mid palate, and a crisp tannin framework tucked around sappy fruit. Fun and bright without too much onerous ambition. (TC)Drink 2016- 2018

16

● Calmel & Joseph, Villa Blanche Syrah 2014 IGP Pays d'OcParcels vinified separately then

blended. Bottled yesterday. Gamey, dark plums and bit of tarry smoke. Lots of thick chewy tannins, purple tasting, like char-grilled black figs. Not massively long but it has good presence and is GV. (TC)Drink 2016-2019

15.5

 

LES LANGUEDOC

 

Les Languedoc

 

● Calmel & Joseph 2014 LanguedocGrenache Blanc, Roussanne, Marsanne. Fermented at 15 °C in stainless steel with one month on fine lees. Just bottled at time of tasting (September 2015). Clean, tight and quite floral on the nose. White citrus. Hint of nettle, green, and then lots of compact juicy fruit on the mid palate. Real core. Delicious, defined edges, mouth-watering finish and length. (TC)13% Drink 2016-2019

16.5

● Calmel & Joseph 2014 LanguedocRoughly 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 20% Carignan.

Quite surprisingly pale ruby. Ripe nose - like bramble berries in warm September sunshine. Bit of singed straw. Lots of smokiness at the core wrapped up in fruit - gorgeous piercing acidity, lip-smacking. There's a bit of rosemary and lavender lift on the finish. (TC)Drink 2016-2018

16.5

 

LES TERROIRS

 

Les Terroirs

 

● Calmel & Joseph, Les Terroirs Vieux Carignan 2014 IGP Côtes de BrianEarthy dusty nose. A little furry. Unexpected sweetness to start, like a mouthful of wild strawberries, and the slightly bitter-leafy note you'd get if you ate them little green calyx and all. Real charm and appeal, this cinnamon-lined berry-bright wine has a bracing face-to-sea-breeze freshness and it's only right at the end that the old Carignan tannins drift across and get tangled up, rather pleasantly, in all that fruit. Quite different to the 2013 - perhaps somewhere between the 2012 and 2013 in character. But this one is more fun, more front-loaded, more light-hearted, and

you could almost drink it without food. (TC)14.5% Drink 2016-2022

17

● Calmel & Joseph, Les Terroirs Vieux Carignan 2013 IGP Côtes de Brian125-year-old vines in

Minervois.

Mineral scented - that very particular smell of fresh rain on dry earth (petrichor) and cold wet concrete. Slight aniseed note spilling over into the palate, which is rich with the flavour of Victoria plums simmering on the stove. Streak of sage green. Woven, craggy tannins, like the hands of an old man who's worked in the fields all his life. Freshness, cutting across the ripe robust palate like a silver knife. Some earthiness and earthy spices collecting on the finish. (TC)14% Drink 2016-2021

17

● Calmel & Joseph, Les Terroirs 2014 St-ChinianPinot-like in its transparency of colour and

perfume. Chewy, sharply etched red fruit on a palate stretched as tightly as an artist's canvas on a frame. All structure and tension at the moment, underlying complexity promising much more when this relaxes its grip a little. Long, dry, tobacco-leaf finish. (TC)13.5% Drink 2018- 2025

17+

● Calmel & Joseph, Les Terroirs 2013 St-ChinianQuite extraordinary perfume! Almost burgundian

in its lift and purity. Violets and cranberry and sour cherry, clinched in high-fluted acidity and cello-string-fine tannins, but so much more than the sum of its parts. Real purity. Nuances of garrigue trailing through the finish like dust blowing in the wind. So long. Hard to spit. (TC)14% Drink 2016-2023

17.5

● Calmel & Joseph, Les Terroirs 2014 FaugèresAppetising nose of warm dark fruit and toast.

Then a real fistful of tannins. Thick purple fruit, lots of dark clove and nutmeg spiciness. A real mouthful, bustles across the tongue bristling with confidence and character. Dry persistently spicy finish. Lots of dry fragrant herbs packed into this - really really thyme-scented and that lingers in the mouth for a long time. Needs time and big food. (TC)14% Drink 2018-2025

16.5+

● Calmel & Joseph, Les Terroirs 2013 FaugèresAlso one of their earliest wines. This is the alto to

the St-Chinian soprano. Much more garrigue on the nose here - crushed verbena and lavender and rosemary and laurel. Purple flavours. Elderberries, boysenberries, slightly rugged tannins. This grapples where the St-Chinian dances. All marshalled into a tight-knit, sappy finish, a sage note lingering long. (TC)13.5% Drink 2017-2024

17

● Calmel & Joseph, Les Terroirs 2013 MinervoisBottled yesterday. Bright, and pretty on the nose.

Spicy! Peppery! Explodes and crackles with spices. Then a swathe of sweet, beautifully shaped red fruit across the palate. Softness and spice. A kind of Moroccan wine in its blend of sweet spices and sweet fruit and yet savour. Cheeky yet charming. So sappy on the finish. A wine you really want to drink. (TC)14% Drink 2016-2021

17

● Calmel & Joseph, Les Terroirs 2014 CorbièresBit of black cherry fruit, bit of paint-like aromas.

Roasted fruit and cacao nibs, dark and broody and guttural structure with an intense, dark ripeness at the very core. Garrigue woven into every sip and girded by powerful polished tannins. Surprising grace for its immensity. (TC)14% Drink 2017-2024

17

● Calmel & Joseph, Les Terroirs 2013 CorbièresCompletely different from the preceding

Minervois. Ram-packed with laurel and box and resin and eucalyptus aromatics. Tea leaves on the palate, mixed with very black fruit, broody and some seriously swarthy tannins. Massive tannins - lots of chew - needs time and a big steak! But gorgeous dark tarry fruit. (TC)13.5%

Drink 2017-2025

16.5+

● Calmel & Joseph, Les Terroirs 2014 Côtes du Roussillon-VillagesQuite enchanting nose - fresh

ripe damson, rosemary and the lightest note of just-ground coffee beans. Absolutely gorgeous! Vibrant and dense red fruit, almost luscious, sashays across the palate and winds itself around the tongue with shimmering energy. A lick of bright acidity and, just playing orchestra to the solo, spice and earthiness and leather and coffee. Tannins bold and muscular and accurately matched to that Roussillon-sun-soaked fruit. (TC)14% Drink 2016-2025

17.5

● Calmel & Joseph, Les Terroirs 2013 Côtes du RoussillonGamey/saucisson nose. Brocaded

woven palate, peppered with nutmeg and allspice. Very dry, skulking tannins. Lots of tang and texture but the fruit is a little buried in burly tannins, spice to the fore. Unfriendly, but complex. I'd put this one away for now and wait for a bit of age to mellow the surly youth. (TC)Drink 2018-2024

16.5++

● Calmel & Joseph, Les Terroirs 2013 Languedoc, MontpeyrouxBetween Larzac and Pic, 150 m

high. Syrah, Grenache and Carignan - no Mourvèdre.

Pungent liqueur fruit and furniture glue leads a bold charge out the glass. This one comes at you jousting! Sharp and prickling and cough syrup and liquorice. Then there's a mid-palate pause and sweet blackcurrant pastille and menthol fill the mouth, as if to apologise for all that upfront aggression. Dominant tannins, not brutish, but they prevail. Lovely length. (TC)Drink 2017-2022

16.5

 

LES CRUS

 

Les Crus

 

● Calmel & Joseph, Les Crus 2014 LimouxOne of their highest vineyards at 300 m above sea level. 100% Chardonnay. To be released in 2016. They did a lot of different presses, working with texture all the way, pressing until they felt that the texture was right.

Rich mandarin nose, slight hint of flower nectar. Rich and tense - apricots, sweet satsuma, a tiny bit of caramel brioche. Gorgeous tight-knit acidity, shimmering with intensity. Structure and tension, really exciting. Long. So much here with a long life ahead of it. (TC)13% Drink 2017-2025

17.5

● Calmel & Joseph, Les Crus 2013 Côtes du Roussillon-Villages, CaramanyA very small AOP

within the Côtes du Roussillon-Villages. These are the last vines before the Pyrenees, then it's Spain. The vigneron cuts the grass for 10 ha by hand. Seriously organic.

Ripe dark pretty nose. Little bit of nettle, green pepper, herbs. Brambly dark fruit and chewy chunky tannins. Has a bit of a growl. Sharp acidity, like Seville oranges. Black pepper and a singed note on the finish. It desperately needs food. No flattering sweetness but lots of fierce Caramany character. (TC) Drink 2018-2025

16.5+

● Calmel & Joseph, Les Crus 2014 Languedoc, Terrasses du Larzac50% Mourvèdre, 25% Syrah,

25% Grenache.

Not pronounced, but distinctive nose: pomegranate and beetroot, orange peel, guava. Glossy intensity spreads across the palate filling all corners of the mouth with reverberating layers of flavour. Clenched with tension and intent, ambitious, beautifully balanced, tannins smouldering in the background, no single component dominating. Strong, spiced finish. Almost long, and then it just fades a tiny bit too quickly for so much delivery. (TC)13.5% Drink 2016-

2024

17.5-

● Calmel & Joseph, Les Crus 2013 Languedoc, Terrasses du Larzac50% Mourvèdre, 25%

Grenache, 25% Syrah.

With time, Laurent tells me, this wine becomes very perfumed. At the moment it smells remarkably of red apples! And chestnuts. Notably light and soulful nose after the Caramany. Really gorgeously ripe fruit with an edge of caramelised orange peel. Layers of flavour here. Warm spices. Red currants. Quince. Precise scythe-like acidity but there's a distinctive savoury gentle-roast coffee note here too. Almost mocha. Stunning. Silky tannins. (TC)Drink 2016-2025

17.5

 

LES CUVÉES RARES

 

Les Cuvees Rares

 

● Calmel & Joseph, Les Cuvées Rares La Ruffe 2013 LanguedocRuffe is the local word to describe the type of soil, very unusual, dark red black. It can be found round Lake Salagou. This wine could have been a Terrasses du Larzac but it isn't because it is vinified in Lavalette ('a "village" with 25 people living there', says Jérôme with a half smile. 'Depending on how many people are still alive, it may be a commune', remarks Laurent drily). Made and aged for six months in barrels that had housed a white wine for 18 months. 50% Carignan, 40% Syrah, 10% Cinsault. They didn't want to pump the wine, so they had to carry it down with a pick-up truck. No filtration.

Dark chocolate, peppermint, green herbs. Lots of black chocolate, lots of power, massive structure. Thick velvet-and-portcullis tannins with opulent fruit firmly behind bars at the moment, but it's definitely there. Tightly bound. Very imposing. A sleeping dragon. Needs five to 10 years. (TC)Drink 2019-2026

17+

● Calmel & Joseph, Les Cuvées Rares Le Pic 2013 Languedoc, Pic-St Loup5,000-6,000 bottles

produced. UK is biggest market.

Very curious nose - vegetal (almost lettuce-like), red pepper and redbush tea leaves. Herbal complexity and a shell of green spices - some peppercorn, some cardamom - encompassing light red fruit with citric acidity. Orange peel and tamarind tang persist on the finish. (TC)14% Drink 2017-2023

17

● Calmel & Joseph, Les Cuvées Rares Le Pic 2012 Languedoc, Pic-St LoupNot a ripe vintage.

Rainy year, cool, lower alcohols.

Smells like crushed green hedgerow leaves. Herbal and tea leaf but more black tea than red tea. Woody spice from slightly drying tannins. Something a little medicinal and citrus clinging to the red fruit. There's an edge of sweetness, but mostly tang and savouriness. (TC)14% Drink 2015-2019

16.5

● Calmel & Joseph, Les Cuvées Rares Le Pic 2011 Languedoc, Pic-St LoupPretty hot year, very

ripe fruit.

Perfumed sweet-fruited peppery nose. A little sweeter, softer, than the 2012. There's a leafy raspberry tang across the palate and a persistent staccato of pink peppercorn, swaddled in rather plush tannins. The most approachable of the four vintages, showing real charm and elegance. Dances rather prettily across the palate. (TC)14% Drink 2015-2020

17

● Calmel & Joseph, Les Cuvées Rares Le Pic 2010 Languedoc, Pic-St LoupCrunchy nutty nose

with a hint of animal. The first vintage with a totally different label. Loads of mouth-puckering

acidity and tannins - almost crackling with structure around the still super-fresh red fruit, tinged with damson/quince paste. Like the 2011 and 2013, lively bite of pink peppercorns. Lovely intensity and there's an autumnal leaf note on this that lingers and plays in the mouth. The most gentle on the palate of the four vintages. (TC)14% Drink 2014-2019

17

 

Bron:

  • Website Calmel & Joseph, www.calmel-joseph.com
  • Tamlyn Currin, 11 Apr 2016, Micro-negotiating the Languedoc

 

 

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