Images from Chateau Camplazens


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The Rose & Crown Hotel
Le Huret, Alderney
UK Channel Islands

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Chateau Camplazens

Camplazens is located at the top of La Clape, a limestone mountain 10 miles long and 4 miles wide overlooking the Mediterranean. La Clape is an official sub-appellation of Coteaux du Languedoc that is gaining in reputation for its wine making. Only 26 vineyards are situated on La Clape, an environmentally protected land since 1965, and the only permitted activity is grape growing.

La Clape is comprised of limestone cliffs and fertile valleys, covered with wild moorland, or 'Garrigue.' The abundance of thyme, rosemary, lavender and sage together with a plethora of wild flowers and grasses create richly scented aromas, which are reproduced in the wine.

The soil is rich alluvial clay, while when present in areas of limestone can be broken up to create a well drained, porous soil which makes maximum use of reflected sunlight for ripening the grapes.

The climate conditions are ideal, combining the Northwest mountain breezes from the Carcassone Valley with the sea mists of the Mediterranean below. La Clape has about 3000 hours of sunshine a year, which is among the highest in the Mediterranean.

Winters are cool and wet, and the proximity to the sea keeps the frost away just long enough to enable the growing season to be extended for an additional few weeks allowing the vines to absorb the last few days of autumn sun.

Camplazens harvest three primary types of vines, following the directives of the AOC La Clape; namely Syrah, Grenache, and Carignan. The vineyard also has a small amount of Viognier as well as a new variety called Marsalan.

Syrah: Syrah are among the noblest of the black grapes. In youth, French Syrah is spicy, fruity, sometimes smoky and meaty, and shows plenty of tannin. Slow to age, at maturity the wine can display incredible layers of flavour and complexity, a smooth, silky texture, and wonderfully spicy aromas. The flavours revolve around blackberries and black plums.

Grenache: The appeal of Grenache is its full, robust flavours of dark plums, prunes, and pickled cherries, which are often overlaid with dusty, almost earthy characters and hints of aromatic spices. Despite its up-front flavours and fruit intensity, its skin tannins tend to be mellow. Its high sugar content gives it warmth and richness, and while its fine tannin structure and generous flavors make it accessible at an early age, the best Grenache will also reward with a decade in the cellar.

Carignan: Rich in color and high in tannins, it complements the Grenache well since it has greater acidity and lower oxidative levels, which help it to age.

Marsalan: A cross between Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon, Marsalan is a new grape variety. Camplazens conducted the first harvest of their 5 hectares in 2005, one of the first vineyards in the world to cultivate the Marsalan grape. The result is a dense rich wine with a full silky mouthfeel, a striking stand-alone wine or an ideal blending partner with Syrah.

Viognier: A rare and exotic varietal that is full-bodied with a bouquet of peaches, apricots, and pears, and a floral quality that is like no other.

The Current Vineyard Plantings in Hectares:

Syrah 19
Grenache 9.5
Carignan 2.3
Marsalan 5

Viognier 2.2

reproduced without permission

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