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|Blend:||74% Syrah, 6% Grenache, 4% Cinsault, 6% Mourvèdre, 10% Carignan|
|Winemaker:||Isabelle & Mathieu Champart|
|Vineyard:||Syrah: 15/25 years, Grenache: 25 years, Mourvèdre: 15/25 years, Carignan: 60-110 years, 16 ha total|
|Soil:||Marl, Clay, Limestone|
|Aging:||Aged in barrels and demi-muids for at least 12 months, and then blended and aged in cuve for 8 months|
Isabelle and Mathieu Champart were relatively new to winegrowing when they took over Domaine Bramefan in Saint-Chinian in 1976. For nearly 12 years they sold their grapes to the local cooperative. They waited until 1988 to bottle under their own label, but won almost instant acclaim. Mathieu tends to the vines, and Isabelle makes the wines. While the domaine started from just a humble, stone farmhouse, they’ve added a winery and expanded holdings from 8 to 25 hectares. Though the wines are easy to appreciate now for their inky complexity, they age extremely well. Kermit wants to add that Isabelle is also one of his favorite cooks. He always tries to land 11 a.m. appointments on the off chance they’ll invite him to stay for lunch.
Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch