Les Clos de Jarres is an ambitious new domaine in Minervois started by the young Vivien Hemelsdael. Vivien’s parents had originally farmed the of land here for over 25 years, selling the fruit to the local cooperative. After studying winemaking around the world and in France in Alsace, where he initially became interested in organic farming, Vivien returned home in 2010 and immediately converted the family’s 12ha of vineyards to organics (now certified), and has even begun incorporating some biodynamic treatments and principals. Vivien is working with a range of traditional red and white varieties, with some of the vineyards over 80 years old. The vines are planted in the foothills of the Montagne Noire, where the cooling breezes combined with the limestone subsoil of the area helps give these wines extra freshness. The grapes are all hand harvested into small crates to help sort the fruit in the vineyard. Fermentations are all with native yeast, and the wines are not fined or filtered, with the only addition being a minimal amount of SO2 at bottling. These are delicious wines full of life, and we are glad to see all of Vivien’s hard work paying off.
This wine is a tribute to one of the first men to plant vines on the site that is now home to the tiny hamlet of le Tinal d’Abrens, literally meaning, ‘Abrens’ barrel’. He was a Roman chief who, travelling along the Roman Road that ran through said site, became enamoured with the area and decided to settle there and cultivate a vineyard.
Abrensis is the first of Clos des Jarres AOC Minervois wines. It is chiefly derived from the Abrens plots, where Grenache (55%), Syrah (25%) and Carignan (20%) coexist harmoniously, each a unique expression of the complexity brought by the stony soils.
On the nose, it has an abundance of blackcurrant and sour cherry in its youth, and in time evolves to reveal a deeper complexity, where the tones of fruit are joined by notes of liquorice and pepper. On the palate, full of spirit, its freshness and eccentricity will surprise you; decantation will provide a softening effect, resulting in a more seductive wine, with perfect balance, a worthy accompaniment to good times spent amongst friends.
A perfect representation of the Clos des Jarres ethos, Abrensis brilliantly embodies the reasons for which Vivien became a winemaker; the pleasure of drinking a wine filled with fruit and freshness, which evokes sumptuous bunches of grapes, with all of the depth and complexity you would expect from a wine firmly anchored in its Terroir.
-From the producer