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Always on the go, winemaker François Lurton unveils his newest wine project in France’s Languedoc region, Domaine de Nizas – or in other words:

Yet another jewel in the Lurton crown!


François Lurton most certainly has a bloodhound’s nose for exciting terroir. And he has been able to unerringly discover these terroirs throughout the entire world – and thus it is quite natural that the Bordeaux native has produced wine in the most widely varied corners of the globe – in Argentina, in Chile, in France & in Spain. In 2018 he made the headlines once more, when he acquired a new property, complementing his stellar international portfolio: Domaine de Nizas.

François Lurton © François Lurton S.A.
François Lurton, the tireless man, has a bloodhound’s nose for exciting terroir. The vines of Domaine Nizas struggle for every drop of water; this makes them edgy and spicy – but that is exactly what François Lurton wants to put in the bottle. © François Lurton S.A.

Located near the medieval village of Pézenas in Languedoc, only thirty kilometres away from the Mediterranean Sea, in the commune of Caux between Faugères & Cabrières, where a collection of ten grape varieties express a variety of terroirs that figure among the richest in all of France.

Lurton has taken a lease on the property for eighteen years – renewable – from the Goelet family, founders of the famed Napa Valley winery Clos du Val, who have been cultivating the estate since 1998 under the aegis of co-founder Bernard Portet, who was seduced by the Languedoc – and especially by the terroir situated between Caux, Nizas & Pézenas, where he identified and then realised the enormous potential of the place, by selecting the most suitable parcels & the appropriate grape varieties. The estate’s thirty-eight hectares of vines are distributed among three appellations, AOP Languedoc-Pézenas, AOP Languedoc & IGP Pays d’Oc.

Lurton’s objective: put the place in the bottle

François Lurton has assumed management of the domain with the sole objective of expressing the true potential of the terroir that is Pézenas, an ideal spot for producing wines of exceptional quality. The four principal grape varieties planted are Syrah, Grenache Noir, Carignane (60-year-old vines), & Mourvèdre, with the white-wine side of the spectrum represented by Roussanne, Sauvignon Blanc & Viognier.

François Lurton Domaine de Nizas © François Lurton S.A.
The newest project of François Lurton is in the Languedoc, in the south of France, only thirty kilometres away from the Mediterranean Sea. Here there is a great deal of sunshine, constant winds, stony and rugged soils. © François Lurton S.A.

The region creates the wine

The Languedoc pampers the vines with its Mediterranean climate. Here there is a great deal of sunshine, constant winds, stony and rugged soils. In this place, wines are produced from vines that must struggle for every drop of water; this makes them edgy and spicy – but that is exactly what François Lurton wants to put in the bottle.

The soils

Basaltique: Formed from ancient solidified lava flows, these terroirs are specific to the Pézenas area, unique in Languedoc and quite rare in the rest of the world. They yield wines with spice & liquorice flavours that exhibit a good tannic structure, which comes to the fore in the cuvée «Le Clos».

Argilo-calcaire: These white soils (limestony marl) give the Syrah a bouquet of red fruits and flowers, and consistently promote varietal typicity across the spectrum.

Villafranchien: These soils – also found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape (a mix of smooth alluvial pebbles & red clay) – are known for producing high quality wines. They bring elegance and structure to the wines as well contributing to the process of maturing. In the case of Syrah, they reinforce varietal aromas of chocolate & coffee.

And how’s the weather?

Located only thirty kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea, the Domaine de Nizas benefits from the favourable Mediterranean climate. Rainfall is low, concentrated during autumn & winter, while the summer months are hot & dry. The Tramontane (an inland wind blowing from the northwest) exerts a beneficial impact on the harvest, drying things out to encouraging optimal ripening.

Domaine de Nizas, Grand vin blanc
A flavourful cuvée of Roussanne, Vermentino & Viognier that totally captures the Mediterranean climate. Mandarin orange and citrus notes, good acidity and light mineral salts – a wine that will beautifully accompany all that summertime has to offer, and in particular the Mediterranean cuisine.
Domaine de Nizas, Grand vin rouge
The cuvée of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre can perhaps be regarded as the liquid visiting card of the domaine. Thirty year-old grapevines grow in clay, basalt and Kimmeridgien soils, yielding an extremely juicy and concentrated wine. Goes marvellously with lamb or coq au vin.
PICTURES (downloadable)
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