Domaine de la Terrasse d’Elise, a leading light of the Languedoc

Terrasse Elise oneDomaine de la Terrasse d’Elise has established itself as one of the finest references of the Languedoc and the monovarietal wines produced from Cinsault, Carignan or Syrah display incredible finesse. An absolute must.

La Terrasse d’Elise has been on the iDealwine radar for some years now. We’ve always enjoyed the wines from this producer and we’re proud to see them gaining the recognition they justly deserve.

Former iDealwine intern Pierre Renauld recently visited the domain and had the great fortune to taste many of the wines from the barrel. He recounts his meeting with Xavier Braujou, a vigneron he describes as discreet and lovable.

The 14 hectare vineyard is located between Aniane and Saint-Jean-de-Fos. Xavier Braujou started with just a few hundred square metres in 1998 when he took over the family domain. In his first year, he quit the cooperative and produced just five barrels of the cuvée Elise. At the time Xavier was a woodcutter, a job that he continued until 2008. His domain gradually expanded from 2001 until he arrived at the 14 hectares that he cultivates today with the help of his son and daughter. Everything centres around the vine which he cultivates according to organic and biodynamic principles (without certification). Yields are very low at 20 hl/ha and the soils are tilled. Most of his production is monovarietal, a characteristic of this domain that possibly stems from Xavier’s training in Alsace. Interestingly, Cinsault is his favourite variety and is used to make the cuvées Le Pradel and Les Hauts de Carol’s. Xavier is giving prestige back to Cinsault and Carignan, often viewed as nothing more than blending varieties. He doesn’t adhere to the AOC system for he believes that it contributes to standardising wine.

elise twoIn the chai, Xavier prefers a ‘hands-off’ approach and, to maintain balance, there is no punching down or racking. The maturation period is long (12 to 24 months) with no new oak in sight. We don’t know all his secrets however, but the end result is always a wine of incredible finesse marked by its great purity of fruit, freshness, elegance and balance. The wines from this domain are unique and illicit strong emotions from those who taste them. We’ll give Pierre the last word: “Xavier Brajou secretly admits to loving Rayas and you really do sense something of Emmanuel Reynaud in his wines. For me, these are the finest wines from this region”.

The wines from Domaine de la Terrasse d’Elise currently on sale:

Siclene  2017:

A white wine made rom Roussanne, Marsanne and Chardonnay that is matured in oak for 6 months. It has a beautiful freshness marked by a richness and seductive notes of white flowers. As a whole it is delightful with good acidity. Perfect as an aperitif or with fish.

K’Yenne 2016:

This new cuvée is a blend of Marsanne and Roussanne from a limestone rich terroir. Aged for 12 months in oak, it is a taut and elegant wine with plenty of finesse that offers great freshness and aromas of hawthorn.

L’Enclos 2016:

L’Enclos is made from 100% Mourvèdre and is aged for 12 months in oak. The wine has a velvety and silky texture and the aromas offer up notes of black fruit, garrigue and spices. Easy drinking and a long finish, it’s delicious!

Les Hauts de Carol’s 2014 / 2015:

Les Hauts de Carol’s comes from old Cinsault vines (over 50 years old). The wine is matured in oak for 24 months. The elegant nose shows aromas of red fruit (strawberry, cherry) as well as menthol and cocoa notes. The palate has a silky texture and well-integrated tannins with plenty of fruit and freshness. It works very well with white and red meat. Exceptional.

XB 2017:

The nose on this wine boasts an impressive aromatic palette of red and black fruits (redcurrant, blueberry and blackcurrant), cinnamon and coriander. In the mouth it is fresh with persistent fruit. A wine to enjoy amongst friends.

Le Pradel 2016:

A cuvée like no other: a well made Cinsault that is fruit forward, and lightly spiced with superb structure. Delicate, silky and aerial, it goes beautifully with red meat and duck.

Elise 2011:

70% Syrah and 30% Mourvèdre, this cuvée is aged in oak for 24 months, making it a very good example of a Languedoc wine to cellar. It has aromas of red fruit and spies and a magnificent texture. It displays remarkable length and acidity and will drink beautifully in years to come.

See the wines from Domaine de la Terrasse d’Elise currently on sale

See all wines from the Languedoc currently on sale

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Other things to read on the iDealwine blog:

Top 20 wines from the Languedoc, Roussillon, Provence and Corsica

The 2016 vintage in France (part 2)

The principle grape varieties in France | Part 3: The South West

 

 

 

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