10 Years of WineLab August 21, 2023
FLC May 2023 - Vive le Vin! June 05, 2023
First Look Club
FLC #28: Aymeric Amiel / Domaine des Amiel
Domaine des Amiel is currently managed and operated by Aymeric Amiel, one of two brothers that come from long line – 16 generations! – of paysan farming. Aymeric studied wine and worked at wineries in Argentina, Chile, California and South Africa before returning to his own family estate. It is a tiny estate of only 15ha with very small production. Aymeric’s brother Jordan, who has a background in herbal medicine, worked with Aymeric for several years in the vineyards. The combination of these two backgrounds led to great changes for the Amiel domaine. The vineyards are all farmed biodynamically and wines are produced as naturally as possible, with zero additions during the vinification process and minimal SO2 additions at bottling.
Despite the small size and production, the estate produces a startling range of wines. No stone is left unturned – white, red, orange, rose, sweet, sparkling… they have it all! The reds show a brilliant interplay between dense, concentrated fruit, tight tannin structures and high tonality, and offer superb value. The whites showcase local Languedoc varieties and offer modern twists on indigenous grapes. Domaine des Amiel show that wine can be ethically made, preserve tradition, innovate for modern tastes, and most importantly, be fun to drink.
For this month’s FLC selection we have chosen their 2021 ‘a Coural’. This wine is part of their family range, a range in which each wine is a show of love and appreciation for different family members. ‘Coural’ is the nickname of the Amiel brothers’ grandfather. ‘a Coural’ is a tribute to their grandfather’s hard work that helped pave the way for the estate – they have further paid homage to him by putting the symbol of his old plow on the label.
The wine is a blend of classic Languedoc varieties – Syrah, Cinsault and Carignan – from vines ranging 20-40 years old. They keep the yields low to increase the concentration of fruit in the grapes, and in turn contribute greater structure to the wine itself. Everything is hand harvested and sorted directly in the vineyard to ensure that only the best quality grapes are sent to the winery. The wine sees no oak and minimal filtration, fining and sulfites. It is a deep, inky colour with typical garrigue and black fruit aromas and flavours. When you enjoy your glass, know that you are getting a great snapshot of the vineyards’ terroir.