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The wines of Château Moulin de Ciffre, Languedoc, France

34480 Autignac, France
Tel: +33 (0)4 67 90 11 45

It's a sign of the times that owners of properties in Bordeaux are selling up and buying estates in the Languedoc. This is just what Bernadette and Jacques Lesineau did in 1998, offloading the 20 ha Château Haut-Gardière (Pessac-Leognan) and purchasing a 40 ha estate in the Languedoc, Moulin de Ciffre. It's very much a project in progress, because a substantial proportion of the vineyards have been replanted and are currently not in production. The approach is a quality minded one, with low yields in the vineyard and careful vinification.

In assessing these wines it's worth bearing in mind that for the 1998s the only impact of the new regime will have been on the winemaking. It will be interesting to see how Moulin de Ciffre fares in future vintages when the new owners have full control of all aspects of production. Signs are promising that they will make wines in a modern style but which will continue to reflect their 'terroirs'.

Moulin de Ciffre Faugères Rouge Cuvée Eole 1999
From Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre grapes growing on schistous slopes. Spends a year in oak barrels, half of which are new. A dense wine with a nice herbiness and sweet fruit on the nose. Rich palate has a lush texture and a spicy finish. Very good+

Moulin de Ciffre Faugères Rouge Cuvée Eole 1998
A tarry, herby wine showing sweet fruit and spicy new oak. Very good+

Moulin de Ciffre Faugères Rouge 1998
A deep coloured wine with a nice herby, slightly earthy nose. Savoury palate with good density and a sweet edge to the fruit. Very good

Moulin de Ciffre Cuvée Val Taurou 1999 Vin de Pays des Coteaux de Murviel
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah with some Grenache and Mourvedre, aged in barrel (half new, half one year old). It's a dense purple/black colour, with liquouricey, herby fruit on the nose. The palate is concentrated, lush and ripe, with some of that Faugères herbiness. Very good/excellent

Moulin de Ciffre Cuvée Val Taurou 1998 Vin de Pays des Coteaux de Murviel
Deep red/purple colour, with a rich herby nose and a concentrated, ripe palate showing some drying tannins on the finish. Quite a big wine. Very good+

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