The spectacular 8.5 ha (21 acres) of vineyards are located in the villages of St Jean Minervois and Cause. This area is at an altitude up to 300 m (985 feet) in the foothills of the Montagne Noir mountains, between the gorges of Saint Chinian and Minerve. The area benefits from warm summer days and fresh, cooler breezy summer nights. The domaine grows 15 different grape varieties all in close proximity in similar limestone terroir, giving their wines great personality. The grape varieties are: Carignan, Syrah, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Grenache Noir, Muscat Petits Grains, Terret Gris, Terret Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Counoise, Macabeu, Roussanne, and Viognier. The vineyards are handled lightly, worked by hand, no weed killers of course, and the soils are revitalized with microbial life by legume plantings. The natural immune defenses of the vine are enhanced by biodynamic preparations, and restricted low yields of grapes. The recent planting of 200 fruit trees (pomegranate, fig, apricot, etc.) in the middle of the vineyard has generated havens of beauty and new insect life.
Low yield of 25 hl/ha. Total yearly production 3500 bottles of 750ml. The Carignan Noir for Cote Obsure comes from old 100 year old vineyards at 250m of altitude. The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are from an altitude of 300m. All the grapes are harvested by hand which allows John and Nicole to use only perfectly ripe and healthy grapes. The grapes are then transported to the cave nearby in 15 kg crates to avoid any breakage of the skins before vinification begins. The blend is left to macerate for 3 weeks. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks. The wine is aged 50% in stainless steel tanks and 50% in demi-muids, 600 liter oak barrels.
Nicole and John Bojanowski work their beautiful vineyards together. Nicole is from Narbonne with her southern French accent, her laughter and her contagious enthusiasm. John comes from further afield, from the West, the land of horses and Bourbon: Kentucky! Thus, in 1996, the Narbonnaise convinced her American husband that the pale limestone pebbles of St Jean Minervois were the most beautiful in the world. It is a real choice of life to live and work in a village of 45 souls, in beautiful high elevation wind-swept terroir of white pebbles which are 50 million year old marine fossils. "The objective and the desire was to make rich wines with minerality."- the winemakers.
Food Pairing Notes
Perfect with beef entrecote, beef rib steak, duck and prune skewer, and veal with olives.