Leon Stolarski Fine Wines
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Online Wine Shop  >  Wines by grower - alphabetical  >  Ravanès, Domaine de - Coteaux de Murviel

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Domaine de Ravanes
Domaine de Ravanès
Domaine de Ravanès is fairly unusual in Languedoc, insofar as the vineyards are planted predominantly (though by no means exclusively) with Bordeaux grape varieties. The estate was purchased by Felix Benin in 1955, but it wasn't until 1972 that Felix's son Guy planted Merlot, followed by other varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and - of all things - Ugni Blanc (a.k.a Trebbiano). Ugni Blanc is actually the most widely-planted grape variety in France, although the majority of it is used for the production of Cognac and Armagnac. It is otherwise considered to be a rather undistinguished grape, but in the right hands, it can be the source of some really rather good wine.

In 1989, Guy's son Marc obtained his Oenology-Ampelography PhD, following his studies at the Institute of Oenology in Bordeaux, and took over the estate in 1990. In 1994, Marc grafted Petit Verdot (another Bordeaux variety) onto the rootstock of a Cinsault vineyard that had existed for 25 years or more. The Petit Verdot vines are therefore effectively around 45 years old. Other varieties planted include Grenache Gris, Grenache Blanc and Macabeu. There also exists a small plot of Aramon, but this is retained merely for historical purposes, rather than wine. The total area under vine is 32 hectares.  

Some plots are large, some small, and the soil (which is mainly clay/limestone) contains varying amounts of stones and pebbles (from the "gravières" - gravel pits, of which there are many here, washed down from the hills by the adjacent River Orb), making for a terroir very similar to Chateauneuf-du-Pape, or even Graves in Bordeaux. The proximity of the river also means that the late-harvested sweet white wines (extraordinary wines, made entirely from Ugni Blanc) benefit from botrytis (noble rot). Merlot ripens very easily here, and is usually harvested at the end of August, whilst the Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot are often picked as late as October, depending on the characteristics of the vintage.



We have met Marc Benin on a couple of occasions now (firstly at Vinisud in early 2012 and then on a visit to the Ravanès estate in June. And despite his rather shy and retiring nature, he comes across as a passionate, dedicated and supremely talented winemaker, and we are proud to have re-introduced his fabulous wines to the UK market. If you are curious, then please give them a try - and your curiosity will be richly rewarded. 


Domaine de Ravanès Le Renard Blanc 2013 IGP Coteaux de Murviel
Domaine de Ravanes Le Renard Blanc 2013
Vintage
2013

Region Thézan-les-Béziers, 10km north of Béziers
Colour/Style Dry white - full bodied, fermented and aged 1 year in barrel
Grapes 75% Grenache Gris, 25% Maccabeu
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.0%
Food Fish, chicken, pork, paella, oriental dishes
Next day
Even better
Drink Now, or over the next 5 to 8 years
The estate's top white, from 75 year-old vines. A lovely bright, medium gold colour, with a fabulous nose that covers just about every base, with fruity, zesty, herby, herbaceous, spicy and mineral notes all putting in an appearance. Lime oil, quince, crushed nettles, thyme, mint, coriander and wet stone are just a few of the aromas and flavours I can pick out, in a wine of genuine subtlety and complexity. Tight and focused in the mouth, offering masses of flavour, with ample acidity and plenty of grip, courtesy of extended maceration on the grape skins, followed by a year's ageing in oak barrels. Restrained power and elegance is the order of the day, with a long, cool, minty/spicy finish. And whilst it really is a joy to drink already, I can see it gaining yet more complexity and weight over the next 3 to 5 years, possibly more. Tangy and dry, rather than rich and oily, this is a wine that is closer in style to white Burgundy or old-style Rioja than Rhone. A really cracking wine, which is good to drink now, but will also age nicely for a few years yet.
 

Price:  £15.95 (Including: VAT at 20%)

Quantity:


Domaine de Ravanès Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 IGP Coteaux de Murviel
Domaine de Ravanes Merlot Cabernet 2012
Vintage
2012
Region Thézan-les-Béziers, 10km north of Béziers
Colour/Style Dry red - full bodied. Aged 18 months in vat (no oak)
Grapes 50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol (a.b.v)
13.5%
Food All manner of meat, cheese or vegetable dishes, pizza
Next day
Even better on day 2
Drink Now, or over the next 5 to 8 years
Semi-opaque purple/red in colour, this is deep, dark and inviting, with heady aromas of cassis and bramble fruit, tobacco, citrus and spice, with little hints of meat and new leather. The palate is bright and intensely fruity, lightly spicy and herby, with bags of red and black berry fruit flavours, leather and spice. The texture is medium-rich and mouth-filling, with ample acidity and beautifully grippy tannins, making for a wine that is lovely to drink now, but with the structure to age and improve for another 5 years or more. This is a brilliant example of a Languedoc "Bordeaux blend" and frankly it knocks spots off just about any right-bank Claret under £15.
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Price:  £9.85 (Including: VAT at 20%)

Quantity:


Domaine de Ravanès Alicante Bouschet 2014 IGP Coteaux de Murviel
Domaine de Ravanes Alicante Bouschet 2014
Vintage
2014

Region Thézan-les-Béziers, 10km north of Béziers
Colour/Style Dry red - medium/full bodied. Aged in vat (no oak)
Grapes 100% Alicante Bouschet
Alcohol (a.b.v)
13.5%
Food All manner of meat, cheese or vegetable dishes, pizza
Next day
Even better on day 2
Drink Now, or over the next 3 to 5 years
Winemaker Marc Benin experimented with making a red table wine from Alicante Bouschet for 3 years before hitting on the perfect recipe. It is macerated on the skins for just 4 days, before running the juice off, in order to tame the inherently fierce tannins and retain the fruit. The result is a relatively light-coloured red wine, full of red and black fruit flavours, a lick of spice and a sprinkling of garrigue herbs, with good concentration, just the right amount of tannin and ample acidity. All in all, a cracking good wine!
 

Price:  £10.85 (Including: VAT at 20%)

Quantity:


Domaine de Ravanès Petit Verdot 2013 IGP Coteaux de Murviel
Domaine de Ravanes Petit Verdot 2013
Vintage
2013

Region Thézan-les-Béziers, 10km north of Béziers
Colour/Style Dry red - full bodied, aged 16 months in vat (no oak)
Grapes 100% Petit Verdot
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.0%
Food Red meats, cheese, vegetable or mushroom dishes
Next day
Even better
Drink Now, or over the next 5 to 8 years
Aged for 18 months in vat, so no oak to get in the way of all the lush, ripe bramble and blackcurrant fruit. One might expect this wine to be quite tough and angular for the moment, but not a bit of it - for it really is lovely to drink already. A mélange of black fruits, leather, spice, herb and eau de vie aromas greet the nose, whilst the palate is ripe and full-bodied, with bags of acidity and a healthy dose of tea-like tannins. I make no secret of my relative antipathy towards Bordeaux wines, but when its blends or (in this case) constituent grape varieties are grown in the Languedoc, by a top grower such as Marc Bénin, they can fill me with joy. And this is just such a wine - utterly delicious and more-ish.
 

Price:  £11.95 (Including: VAT at 20%)

Quantity:


Domaine de Ravanès Cuvée Diogène 2008 Vin de Pays de Coteaux de Murviel
Domaine de Ravanes Cuvee Diogene 2008
Vintage
2008

Region Thézan-les-Béziers, 10km north of Béziers
Colour/Style Dry red - full bodied, aged 18 months in oak barrels
Grapes 60% Petit Verdot, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol (a.b.v)
13.0%
Food Beef, lamb, rich casseroles, hard cheeses
Next day
Even better
Drink Now, or over the next 7 to 10 years
Now we are really entering into Languedoc territory of ripe, almost opulent fruit, aided by 18 months' ageing in 1, 2 and 3 year-old oak barrels. Aromas of cassis and bramble, black cherry and cedar, with an intriguing note of violet. Beautifully fresh in the mouth, with bright, intense fruit flavours, just the merest hint of savouriness, ripe, almost velvety tannins and bags of fresh acidity. It is so wonderfully balanced that it is eminently drinkable now, but also has enough stuffing and structure to age for at least another 10 years. A fabulous combination of ripe fruit, florality and restrained power - a really elegant wine.
 

Price:  £13.50 (Including: VAT at 20%)

Quantity:


Mailing list
Our list is constantly evolving, so if you would like to receive our occasional e-mail newsletter (around 8 times per year) click the logo >>>>


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Minimum order value, delivery charges, times and restrictions
We deliver only to UK and Northern Ireland addresses. The minimum order value is £75 (plus the delivery charge). You may of course choose a mix of any wines in our range. Orders between £75 and £200: delivery charge is £7.50. Orders over £200: delivery is free! (If your order is over £200, please remember to change the delivery charge in checkout to £0.00). Please note: Delivery to non-mainland addresses (Scottish Highlands and Islands, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, etc.) is usually possible, but may not be on a next-working-day basis. It is also more expensive than delivery to mainland addresses, so will be charged at cost (for orders under £200) but with a small discount for orders over £200 - please call us for a quote.

Warning - you must be aged 18 or over
It is an offence to purchase or attempt to purchase alcohol if you are under the age of 18. (Section 149 Licensing Act 2003).We reserve the right to seek proof of age. Leon Stolarski says "drink less, but drink better!" Please consume alcohol in moderation.