THE CAZELLES TERROIR
WINES THAT ELICIT AN EMOTIONAL RESPONSE
Established in 2013, Mas Roc de Bô has a vocation to offer a collection of unique wines, crafted in an environment entirely dedicated to venerating the terroir from which they were conceived.
Gontran Dondain, already owner of Château Cabezac in Bize Minervois and passionate admirer of this terroir, acquired in 2003 35 hectares for the estate, situated in some of the best wine-producing land in the Appellation Minervois.
The Cazelles terroir is part of the limestone plateau of Saint-Jean-de-Minervois and it benefits from many singular qualities. It is these unique properties that make it destined to be officially recognized as a “Cru Cazelles" in the near future.
Mas Roc de Bô: the epitome of the Cazelles terroir
Jean-Dominique Fourment, the agronomic engineer from the company CICOVI and emeritus connoisseur of the Minervois terroir, has highlighted the features that make Cazelles a unique terroir.
Offering a breathtaking view of the Pyrenees, the Cazelles terroir is windswept by the Tramontane and covered with white stones which store heat during the day and return it to the vines at night. The altitude (350m) results in a late maturity of the grapes, giving the whites more freshness and aromatic power, despite a very dry Mediterranean climate. With a lunar aspect to it, the structure of the soil differs from the surrounding soils. Old and mostly made up of limestone cracked over time, it is interspersed with thin layers of red clay or humus that makes for an excellent regulation of the water for the vines.
The agronomist qualifies Cazelles terroir as more of an "ant" than a cicada, the former known for their hard work, the latter for their singing and sunbathing throughout the hot summers in the area. The vine is deeply rooted (approx. 4 m deep) and thus “works hard” to find water and trace elements necessary for its development.
The plots of old vine Carignan and Grenache like it there, for the Syrah it invokes concentration without losing any of its wonderful freshness, the Mourvèdre revels in the late warm climate, the Cabernet Sauvignon is beginning to establish itself and garner its characteristics and the young Vermentino are very promising. To express the tremendous potential of this area, all attention is centreed on working the land in accordance with needs of the environment. The yields are low, at around 35 hl/ha. Each plot is harvested separately entirely by hand and at the point of optimum maturity for each of the different grapes varieties.
The development of the bespoke Mas Roc de Bô wines follows the guidance and advice of Catherine Tournié of the Dubernet Laboratory and Matthieu Dubernet, son of Marc Dubernet, the third generation of a family of Bordeaux winemakers.
THE AGEL CELLAR
The Agel cellar: a showcase for the Mas Roc de Bô wines
In 2011, Gontran Dondain bought the Agel cellar, the necessary setting for the development of these great Cazelles wines. This historic cellar, located below the Cazelles terroir, is thus forward destined to produce the winery’s two collections: “Pépite”
Built in 1936, the Agel cellar brought together 106 grape growing cooperative members who cultivated 320 hectares of vines in 1979. It had not produced any wine for over a half a century until now.
Under renovation in 2014, the cellar re-opened its doors in 2015, furnished with all the equipment necessary (temperature controls, pneumatic pressing) to vinify the grapes picked from all the different Cazelles plots.
Above the production area, a 600m² floor is being created, with magnificent openings aimed at enhancing the particular esthetic of the old wine co-operative, most notably the monumental arched windows dating from the 1930s, which adorn the front of the building and overlook the existing terrace.