Roughly 50 miles south of the old walled town of Carcassonne are the vineyards of Closerie des Lys. They grow deep in the Pyrenean foothills on the sides of two mountains, flanking a little hollow anchored by the village of Antugnac.
The winemaker is Mathilde Fort. Her uncle has a domain nearby. She accepted the position of chef du cave at Closerie in 2013, after a stint at Errazuriz in Chile and–get this–after training at Domaines Didier Dagueneau, Mas Amiel, Vieux Télégraph and Burgundy’s Clos du Tart. Owners Christian Collovray and Jean-Luc Terrier, childhood friends and producers in Mâcon, still come down routinely to partake in tastings and blending decisions, and their sons are involved too–it’s very much a family affair–but the day to day work is Mathilde’s show. Early on, the partners came to have complete confidence in her.
Les Fruitieres is based on Merlot with 20% each of Cab Franc, Grenache and Syrah Like most of the grapes at Closerie, these are harvested by machine in the early morning hours, and undergo fermentation de-stemmed but not crushed in steel (the weight of fruit in the tank gently crushes the grapes).