In the hollow of the Corbières, on the terroir of Fontfroide ("cold springs"), the Domaine de Cigalus benefits from the refreshing contributions of this unique environment which allows it great ampelographic freedom between the earliest and the latest grape varieties. Gérard Bertrand has retained the former owner's bias for heterogeneous choices in red (Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, Caladoc, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan) and white (Chardonnay, Viognier, Sauvignon), to produce exceptional, resolutely atypical wines.
Gérard Bertrand acquired the estate in 1995. At that time, he was already treating himself solely with homeopathy and was actively thinking about its application to the cultivation of the vine, which is the whole purpose of biodynamics. This approach puts the energy of the soil at the heart of the process. The operations in the vineyard (pruning, ploughing, etc.) and in the cellar are governed by a calendar established mainly on the basis of two stars: the moon and the sun. As a young married man, Gérard Bertrand settled in Cigalus and the birth of his children is a revelation: he wants for his family a preserved environment, cultivated (and not exploited) in accordance with his philosophy of life: "To inhabit the earth and respect it is the least we can do. The quality of life depends on it; it is my guide, my quest. This drier climate, this almost carnal contact with the earth beaten by the winds and the sun? At Cigalus, we commune with the earth, we recharge our batteries," he sums up in Le Vin à la Belle Etoile. In 2002, Gérard Bertrand began experimenting with Gilles de Baudus and Richard Planas on the practice of biodynamics on a few hectares. The conversion of the whole estate is progressive, as prudent as it is inevitable. Cigalus is certified Demeter in 2010.
Character & Nature
In the hollow of the Corbières, on the terroir of Fontfroide ("cold springs"), the Domaine de Cigalus benefits from the refreshing contributions of this unique environment. The soils sit on a layer of sandstone and are composed of highly draining sand, which complements the clay, which retains the water from the numerous resurgences around. This richness, in a semi-arid climate, must be controlled by short pruning and constant attention to the vigour of the vineyard. On the other hand, it allows great ampelographic freedom between the earliest and later grape varieties. On the 75 hectares of the estate, Gérard Bertrand has retained the former owner's bias for a heterogeneous choice of red (Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, Caladoc, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan) and white (Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Viognier), to produce exceptional, resolutely atypical wines.
Iconoclasts par excellence, the wines of Cigalus play with their freedom off the beaten track. This unclassifiable grand cru is available in red and white. Each grape variety is vinified separately. In red, the Syrah and Carignan are vatted in whole bunches, then undergo carbonic maceration to extract the most beautiful colour and the most supple tannins. The other grape varieties (Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, Caladoc and Mourvèdre) are destemmed and undergo a traditional maceration. The juices are blended in February and then aged for twelve months in new French oak barrels. They are kept for a minimum of one year in bottles before marketing. Cigalus Rouge offers a subtle balance, like a tight bridge between international and local grape varieties. It owes its unique character to the silkiness of its tannins, the richness of its texture and the aromatic triptych complex of flowers, fruits and spices (peony, blueberry, cedar) born from this unique blend. For the white wine, Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Viognier are hand-picked, pressed, then two thirds of the juice undergoes alcoholic fermentation in new barrels. The remaining third is vinified in stainless steel vats. Only the Chardonnay undergoes malolactic fermentation, which gives it a very greedy buttery aroma, while the Viognier and Sauvignon retain their liveliness. Maturing in barrels lasts between 7 and 8 months until the spring equinox with regular stirring of the lees. Mediterranean at heart, Cigalus Blanc offers an immediately captivating richness and complexity, harmonious as well as disparate, between lavender, pink grapefruit and flint on the airy finish after the greed of a well-integrated toasted woody note.
Cigalus, "The Intuition."
n.m. (Latin cicada-ae): a field where, from an intuition, intention is born, evident as the song of the cicadas.