chai saint etienne
Côteaux du Quercy, South-West France
Domaine Chai Saint Etienne is the underlying motivation for the beginnings of Mosaique wines- so forgive a little biased in this blurb.
Located just 20 minutes from Cahors, the estate has been run by generations of Gisbert vignerons since 1778, focused on making wine to be shared amongst good company (and preferably over long lunches). The vineyard is nestled between fields of sunflowers and fruit trees, with vines wrapping around the church of Saint Etienne- its bell tower keeping watch over the grapes.
Making the best wine possible from sustainable vinification methods is primary for our family, sticking to tried and tested processes from generations past, in order to create balanced and elegant Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Côt blends, as well as delicious Cabernet Franc and Rosé. Camille and son Roger knew they were on the right track as the land was cultivated for vines, finding multiple reminders of the Roman ambitions to also make wine on the site. The remnants of amphora, and of course the mosaics, continue to serve as a reminder of simple, yet effective, winemaking.
The Coteaux du Quercy AOC is one of France's smallest wine region with only 400 hectares and less than 20 growers. After Phylloxera, Quercy, once 50 000 hectares, was almost destroyed. Roger Gisbert and his brave mates started their appellation from scratch. With high draining slopes of white clay and limestone soils, Cabernet Franc was chosen to blend with the Merlot, and of course the Côt (Malbec).
Today, Benoit and Mathieu farm the vineyard sustainably, helped by the geographic situation of parcels on a protected south-east facing amphitheatre. Pruning is done with the moon like generation past, a grassy cover crop is left in every second row to reduce vigour and encourage competition, allowing lower yield.
This rosé is dry, revealing notes of stone fruit, raspberry, and strawberry with a lovely texture.
This red blend is showing red fruits as well as darker forest berries and liquorice with generous ripe fruit.
Red grapes: Cabernet franc, Côt (Malbec), Merlot, Gamay, Jurançon Noir
White grapes: Mauzac, Chardonnay, Viognier