Altugnac Grands Penchants Chardonnay IGP Pays d'Oc, France 2020
Les Grands Penchants is made from an island of 12 ha of Chardonnay, which are perhaps the oldest in Languedoc. The subsoil is made from clay and limestone and the top soil is gravelly and made up of black soil very rich in schist.
The valley has a Mediterranean climate with mountain influences, and experiences drastic fluctuations in temperature between night and day during the maturation period. However, at an altitude of 400m, with a south/south-easterly aspect, facing towards the Pyrenees, the vines exposure to the sun, winds, and altitude create a mesoclimate that favours a slow and long maturation period.
After harvest the grapes are placed delicately in a broad stainless steel vat where they burst under their own weight and the pressure of gravity's pull. The wine is then left to settle and clarified at low temperatures. After settling, alcoholic and malolatic fermentation take place in steel vats and wooden barrels the wine is left on age on the fine lees until the April after the harvest - a rest broken by regular lees stirring.
This wine is a brilliant yellow, with flashes of green. A nose full of mature fruit and flower. On the palate it is ample and beautifully structured, rich and elegant fruity wine with a fresh, mineral finish.