Keen to acquire a vieilles vignes property, Basile Saint-Germain fell in love with the Domaine des Aurelles near Pézenas, and moved there in 1995. Originally a native of the Médoc, he had worked for two years at Château Latour, and – in common with his partner, Caroline Voisin – had had years of experience in Cognac. Together, they put into practice the skills and single-minded focus they had acquired from their home region… tailoring them carefully to their new home terroir, on the edge of the Nizas plateau, 30km from the Mediterranean. The hills feature Villafranchian sandy-gravel soil and basalt scree. The domain is adept in its use of phytobiology – the study of plants to avoid the use of fertiliser. Its vinification methods involve very little intervention.
About the cuvée
The Aurel red cuvée rouge is a blend of Mourvèdre and Grenache grapes grown on the hillsides and with yields restricted to 20 hectolitres per hectare. The wine is aged in vats for 48 months. Aurel is a complex and refined wine. The predominant aromas are dark fruit and spice, while delicate and silky tannins enhance the elegant, mineral and spicy palate. Its structure and style are comparable to Burgundy Pinot Noir.
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General : The «bio» designation covers certified wines produced by biodynamic or organic methods, sustainably produced wines, and «environmentally friendly» wines that are not officially certified. These designations apply to recent vintages (the date of certification, if known, is specified in the estate description). See the blog article for more information on this designation.
Biodynamic : The «biodynamic» designation is used for all estates certified as using biodynamic methods, as verified by one of the two official bodies, Demeter or Biodyvin. All wines produced by biodynamic methods are also certified as organic. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Organic : The «organic» designation covers all estates certified as using organic methods, as verified by one of the bodies approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, such as Ecocert. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Sustainable : The «sustainable» designation covers all estates certified as using integrated or High Environmental Value (level 3 Environmental Certification) techniques. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Evironmentally friendly : The «environmentally friendly» designation refers to estates practising environmentally friendly wine-growing techniques, but that have not opted for certification or who are still in the process of converting to organic agriculture or biodynamics. These estates may have adopted biodynamic principles (non-certified) or simply no longer use chemical products. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Natural : Wines which are produced without any added sulfur (or almost any) and with no other inputs. However, given that there is no official body to issue the natural wine label, it is based on winemakers’ statements. This designation applies to recent vintages.