Nature’s Gardeners

Domaine Philémon
‘Croix d’Azal’ 2020
100% Braucol
Gaillac AOC
Organic, hand harvested,
Villeneuve-sur-Vère, France
Winemakers, growers & owners: Mathieu et Stéphanie Vieules

Deep purple with maroon rim (boy isn’t that fit to be a band name). Scents of earthy cherry & plum, blackberries, raspberries, dried blueberries, teeny hint of shiitake, and back whiff of an herbal tangle with a pinch of licorice. Oh this is delicious! Tasting plums, cherries (and after a while cherry hard candy but not super sweet), raspberries & blueberry jamming in tune together with some earth, and a touch of anise. Not too heavy not too light…it’s just right (ok it’s medium). Oh and I totally should have started with this but better late than never: keep it at good ol’ cellar temp.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: Savory

While on the search for wines from Bergerac, I wandered upon Domaine Philémon’s “Braucol”. They’re in southwestern France, around a 3 hour drive outside of my goal, but what a happy surprise for me. Mathieu (who also inherited the Philémon name passed down from his great-grandfather) reshaped and created the Domaine in 2003; and focused on only working with indigenous grapes and some are even old and “forgotten”. As you can expect, I’m getting all romantic about grape rescues, but there’s even more. Over the years he also took the farm and lands and vines to the organic side. There’s grains, lentils, even truffle oaks and as of 2020, they’re kept trimmed and groomed by the old hardy breed of sheep, “Solognote”. From what I’m reading they are very protective mamas, so it’s best not to get in between them and their babies. You might get a headbutt from nature’s gardeners. 🐑 🍷

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