La Tour Boisee

Languedoc-Roussillon, France

Jean-Louis and Marie-Claude Poudou Minervois, Languedoc-Roussillon, France La Tour Boisée is a family domaine that was established in 1826. The estate is named for a 12th-century wooden tower, a part of the village’s medieval fortifications; its remnants can be seen in the garden of the estate. Every successive generation since the 19th century has remained extraordinarily attached to their terroir near the pastoral village of Laure in Minervois. Marie-Claude, the current proprietor, inherited the domaine from her parents in 1982. With her husband, Jean-Louis Poudou, who is also descended from a long line of vignerons, she continues to work the vines with the same measure of respect with with she was raised. They also cultivate around 2500 acres of olive trees along with the 200 acres of vines. Their goal is to continue conserving the finest of the region’s old varieties, while keeping the vineyard up to date. Laure is blessed with an idyllic landscape, covering an area poetically known as the “balconies overlooking the Aude River.” The vineyards carpeting these arid plateaus are as much a part of Minervois identity as this region’s ancient castles. This is the driest part of the Aude region. Each grape variety is planted on its most suitable soils and in its most suitable microclimate. The varied concentrations of sandstone and clay on the property have allowed the family to be very particular about every vine’s environment. For example, Syrah prefers cooler areas and Grenache is rooted in clay/sand soil with southerly exposure. Their vines are not densely planted; there is up to four miles between individual vineyards and varying altitudes from 250-720 feet above sea level, creating multiple, individual climates. The Mediterranean scrubland is mostly covered with fields of garrigues (wild herbs) and sparse forest. By treating every vineyard individually, Jean-Louis can harvest them all separately when the grapes reach their full maturity. Jean-Louis' goal is always to guard the integrity of the fruit, to craft wines enjoyable to drink. As each vine has ripened individually at its own rhythm, he maintains this aspect with his work ing the cave. Over-extracted fruit is not desired; he wants balance, from vines well-adjusted to their soils. After all these are wines meant to be drunk, first and foremost!

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