04 Nov Le Clos d’un Jour

Le Clos d’un Jour

Cahors

In medieval times, Cahors was a thriving commercial center, and as the principal crossing point of the serpentine Lot River, an important post on the pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostela. Its robust and tannic red wines made primarily from Malbec (also known as Cot or Auxerrois) were highly-regarded throughout Europe. A dirty little secret is that before the 1325 Bordeaux Privileges were granted by King Edward II, the merchants of the English-controlled Bordeaux wine syndicate often relied on the wines of Cahors to fill their barrels and bottles. And even after the ban on wines from upriver tributaries of the Garonne, they continued to use the “black wine” of Cahors to strengthen their claret in light vintages.

Clos d’Un Jour is in Duravel, one of 45 tiny communes in an appellation covering approximately 10,000 acres. The domaine is situated on the Lot River’s third terrace, generally regarded as the appellation’s best terroir. Stéphane and Véronique Azémar purchased the derelict, seven-hectare property in 2000. Buildings were falling apart and the vines, although 30-years-old, had been abandoned and required extensive nurturing to recuperate. Stéphane was confident though, that once restored, this site would bear special wines. The vineyards are currently planted to 90% Malbec and 10% Merlot, which the Azémars have committed to farming organically. They allow the vines to compete with natural grasses for nutrients, and Ouessant sheep are used in the vineyards to control balance. Grasses prevent soil erosion and improve biodiversity. Sheep cause no mechanized stress and provide natural fertilizer. All work not done by the grazing sheep in the vineyard is manual.

The domaine’s yields are limited to an average of only 25hl per hectare. Stéphane makes three expressions of Cahors utilizing three different methods of élevage: cement cuve; barrique; and ceramic amphora. In 2011, France’s premier wine publication, La Revue du Vin de France, called Stéphane Azémar the coqueluche (darling) of the appellation in their annual Classement of the Meilleurs Vins de France, and recently elevated the domaine to ONE-STAR status in the 2013 edition.

DOMAINE FACTS

Vines: 17.3 acres (7 hectares) – Average age of vines is 30-years-old.
Wines: Clos d’Un Jour Cahors: 90% Malbec, 10% Merlot (élevage in cement cuves)
Clos d’Un Jour Cahors Cuvée Un Jour: 100% Malbec (élevage in barriques)
Clos d’Un Jour Cahors Cuvée Un Jour Sur Terre: 100% Malbec (élevage in amphorae)
Soil: Limestone and clay on the Lot River’s third terrace
Viticulture: Strict organic regimen. No machines. Manual practices aided by Ouessant sheep.
Harvest: By hand using small bins with strict sorting in the vineyard
Yields: 30 hectoliters/hectare for Clos d’Un Jour. Miniscule 20-25hl/ha for Cuvée Un Jour and Un Jour Sur Terre
Vinification & Elevage: Fermentation with natural yeast in stainless steel tanks. Traditional pigeage to extract color. Wines are moved only by gravity. No pumps. Elevage for Clos d’Un Jour takes place in cement cuves for 18 months. Cuvée Un Jour is aged 24 months in combination of new (40%) and second-year (60%) barrels. Un Jour Sur Terre is aged 14-18 months in 140-liter ceramic amphorae. Gravity also used to clear all wines. No fining or filtration.
Annual Production:
Approximately 12,000 bottles