Mas Cal Demoura
In 1970, when there was a great exodus from the Languedoc due to a loss of faith in its vineyards to provide a sufficient living, Jean-Pierre Jullien named his domaine Cal Demoura, which in Occitan means "one must remain." He came from a long line of vignerons and, at that time, followed most of his colleagues as they closed their caves and attempted to survive by participating in the local cooperative. Jean-Pierre's son Olivier refused to follow the path of the cooperative and established his own domaine, Mas Jullien, in 1985.
In 1993, Jean-Pierre followed his son's example, resigned from the cooperative, and recreated his own estate. He sold off a portion of his vineyards and retained only the best 5 hectares. With these, he began making a wine of regal dimensions that helped to lead the qualitative revolution in the Languedoc.
Jean-Pierre retired in 2004 and sold selling his estate to its current owners, Isabelle and Vincent Goumard. Seduced by the estate’s winemaking philosophy as well as by the potential of its terroir, this young couple, having studied oenology in Dijon, spent a year working side by side with Jean-Pierre in the vineyard and in the cellar before taking full control of the estate.
The estate now encompasses eleven hectares of vineyards located in the village of Jonquières and in the neighboring community of Saint Felix, approximately 45 minutes (30 kilometers) northwest of Montpellier, just south of Clermont l'Hérault. They are situated in the heart of the Terrasses du Larzac, an independent subdivision within the Coteaux du Languedoc AOC that was recognized in 2004 for its distinctive ability to render wines of exceptional balance and depth due to the special microclimate in which it is located. The Terrasses du Larzac benefits from the cooling winds that come both from the Mediterranean (to the south) and from the mountains to the north of Monpeyroux. This results in a long growing season that preserves essential acidity and yields juice of high complexity.
The vineyards feature five red grape varieties in approximately equal parts: Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, Carignan and Cinsault. A small group of parcels are planted to a half-dozen white varieties (Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Viognier, Muscat and Petit Manseng) to produce a rather remarkable Vin de Pays de l’Herault Blanc. The average vine age is 30 years (as of 2010) with significant parcels of Grenache, Cinsault and Carignan being considerably older. The soil is very dry and stony with a deep but porous topsoil. The various parcels of the domaine are distributed over a terroir that is both geographically and climatically diverse. These variations, combined with an assortment of different cépages, result in wines of complexity and finesse.
Isabelle and Vincent are committed to producing wines that respect the environment and express their terroir. The Goumards farm organically and biodynamically (certification pending). Harvest is manual. There is a double selection done at harvest to secure only the ripest and healthiest grapes are used—once in the vineyard and a second time at the winery before pressing.
In the cellar, they practice a classic vinification. Each grape variety is vinified separately. The initial fermentation occurs in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats. In December, the wines are racked into barrel (mostly of the demi-muid size [500 liters] supplemented with small barrique). After one year of aging, a selection is made and the assemblage is determined. The wine is given an extra six months to find their identity before being bottled without fining or filtration.