DOMAINE LA CALMETTE
La Calmette was founded by Maya Sallee and Nicolas Fernandez, a young couple who in 2015 came across various parcels in the Trespoux-Rassiels subzone of Cahors and started making their own wines in the 2016 vintage.
As of 2017 they farm 7 hectares of vines across three distinct soils – Kimmeridgian, Red Clay, and Marl. With their focus being the local Malbec grape, tasting wines from each of these parcels reveals the intricacies and peculiarities of each terroir. Malbec on Kimmeridgian is tense, precise, and with a pronounced acidity. Malbec on red clay or marl, on the other hand, is softer, rounder, has more width. When blended the resulting wines offer a balanced peek into their provenance.
Trespoux-Rassiels sits at around 350m in altitude, the highest elevation in the Cahors appellation. Here the diurnal range is vast, with very cold evenings leading into very hot days. The resulting wines are fresh, drinkable, with approachable acidity but still retain the deep colour of Malbec and its primary varietal character.
Although Maya and Nicolas’ approach in the cellar is very minimal and hands-off, striving for no additions whatsoever, their technical background helps them to craft natural wines of ultimate precision. Maya used to work in an analysis lab in Alsace and consulted with the likes of Patrick Meyer, Christian Binner, Pierre Frick etc, so whilst most decisions are ultimately based on feeling, there is a scientific backbone to rely on when needed.
This exciting new Domaine currently produces two blended wines, three single vineyard cuvees, and a Petillant Naturel made from 100% Malbec.
Winemaker: Maya Sallée & Nicolas Fernandez
Region: Cahors, France
Grapes: 100% Malbec
Sulphur: No added sulphites
Suitable for vegans: Yes
Total Area Farmed: 7 hectares
Soils: Most of the grapes for this wine come from parcels on Marl, whilst a small amount also comes from Kimmeridgian
Age of vines: 30 years
Viticulture: Organic/ Biodynamic (will be certified in both as of the 2019 vintage)
Vineyards: All of the grapes come from their own vineyards, and all within Trespoux- Rassiels in the Cahors appellation. This is at the highest altitude in the region, roughly 340-360m, a point that experiences a very high diurnal range and hence leads to a wonderful freshness in the wines. Their parcels sit on three distinct soils: Kimmeridgian, iron-rich red clay, and marl. These all produce slightly different sensations on the palate, and blended together they create the ideal balance between tension, acidity, concentration, and fruit.
Vinification: 40% of the grapes were direct pressed, whilst the rest were destemmed and macerated lightly for 4-5 days in concrete. Following the second pressing, both parts were combined before the end of fermentation, and racked 3-4 times in two days to get rid of as much of the lees as possible. The wine was then bottled to finish fermentation in bottle. Disgorged before release.
Other: ‘Nyctalope’ is a person who can see in the dark. This is in reference to years of working in very dark cellars.