DOMAINE du TABATAU, Assignan
Born in 1997, Domaine Tabatau is the brainchild of Bruno Gracia. In Occitan language, Tabatau means the child of the “tabataire”, the village tobacconist. In homage to his grandfather, who was the village tobacconist, he decided to name the winery Domaine du Tabatau.
Bruno’s small operation is located in the village of Assignan. His terroirs are made of red clay and limestone with overlying sandstone bedrock, the altitude is about at 250m to 300m above sea level.
The cool evenings, the sun-filled Mediterranean climate, and the cold winter winds sweeping down from the Montagne Noire result in a Grenache and Syrah grapes of intense complexity and character. Bruno employs sustainable farming methods in his vineyards, using organic compost, and planting grass between every other row of vines. All harvesting is done by hand, yields range from 20 to 30 hl/ha and indegineous yeasts are used.
Bruno has been involved with wine for the last thirty years, after finishing his agricultural studies in Montpellier, Bruno first worked in the vineyards at Château Saint-Andre in Pézenas. He then worked as a sommelier in Montpellier and later in Paris. In 1989 Bruno returned to the vineyards where he accepted an enlightening apprenticeship at Mas Daumas Gassac, eventually becoming their Chef de vigne (Head of Viticulture).
In 1997 he made the big leap to go out on his own and purchased vines (some between 80 and 100 years old) in AOC Saint-Chinian.
Bruno’s self-effacing charm, sense of fun, and passion for what the does, is the secret to producing wines that exhibit character and personality. After first tasting these wines at the domaine, we found that they had something quite unique that goes beyond just good, clean winemaking.
The Saint-Chinian ‘Camprigou’ is a blend of Syrah, Grenache with Carignan and Mourvèdre. The grapes are hand-harvested and de-stemmed. This cuvée is aged for 10 months in tank, it is lightly fined, but not filtered. It has a delicate, perfumed nose of red cherry, raspberry, and red liquorice with underlying hints of blue fruit. In the mouth the wine is full of sweet red fruit with black pepper and garrigue spice notes. The finish is soft with very silky ripe tannins. This is a focused wine with a beautiful balance between fruit, spice, and acidity.