Sunday 21 October 2012

2012 Vin Primeur

Nébian Cave
These days the Aspiran Cave Cooperative is part of Clochers and Terroirs, an enormous operation by any standards. Eleven central Hérault valley villages have combined forces and represent some 850 grape growers with 2,800 hectares of vines. Production is 200,000 hl that equates to over 26 million bottles, although most will go into popular 10 litre BIBs (bag-in-box).

Every other cooperative seems to make Vin Primeur these days, typically a red wine and made to be drunk within weeks of the harvest. At Clochers and Terroirs the launch of the new vintage is an opportunity for villagers to have a convivial apero or three and be subjected to mercifully brief thank you speeches.

I'm told the Aspiran cave hasn't hosted one of these for many years. Along with Paulhan, the cave at Nébian is the nearest Clochers and Terroirs outlet. Inside, the cave could easily host a tennis match plus audience in a space surrounded by dozens of now defunct double-decker cuves.

The wine itself mercifully doesn't overdo the fruit and has a pleasant dry adult finish. Given this year's harvest is down 25% in the commune it was a very generous event.

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