Wine of the Month: Les Clos Perdus - Cuvée 61

Posted on: 01 September 2010 by Mark O'haire

Adding bags of character for your money, why not try a fantastic organic wine such as the 2008 Les Clos Perdus - Cuvee 61 - Corbieres.

Winemaking is a tough business. Competition is fierce and margins are incredibly tight. But before you can even talk about selling it, you have to produce the wine, grow healthy grapes and hope the weather is kind enough to not spoil your entire crop along the way. So when a winemaker comes along and makes wine with both organic and biodynamic principles, it’s time to pay attention.

Growing healthy grapes is tough enough with the aid of pesticides and fertilizers, so surely it’s going to be even tougher without their help. Not so according to Paul Old from Les Clos Perdus, who has been making wine in the Corbières region in the south of France since 2003 after giving up a professional dancing career. He firmly believes making wine along biodynamic principles makes perfect sense and produces very healthy, ripe grapes from strong, deep-rooted vines.

Based on the teachings of the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner, biodynamic winemaking is best described as an extreme form of organics. It encompasses not only the growing of the grapes but extends into the winery as well. Some call it a lot of hocus-pocus, particularly the use of minute quantities of biodynamic preparations and it’s adherence to the lunar cycles for determining when to plant, prune, harvest, or even rack the wine (moving it from one barrel to another in order to move it off the deposit). Lunar cycles are even said to influence how a wine tastes on any given day. That may sound far-fetched, but often the results speak for themselves.

You can’t say biodynamic wines are by definition better as a careless winemaker could still produce a poor wine, but those that practice biodynamics with conviction are paying very close attention to their vineyards and are aiming to create a diverse eco-system that promotes healthy vines and thereby better grapes.

So what’s the downside? Small production means these wines are not going to be the cheapest around but they will provide bags of character for your money. And in the age of drink less but better that’s not a bad thing.

So try this one for starters:

Cuvee 61Les Clos Perdus - Cuvée 61 - Corbières 2008

Direct from the producer: - £12.50

Because of the producer’s links with the UK you can buy this wine directly from them using their website. It’s a bit like buying at the cellar door so you end up paying a very fair price and they will deliver directly to your door.

This is a stunning example of an expertly balanced Corbières. A blend of Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault and Mourvèdre, typical to this part of France. It’s only the Mourvèdre that sees the oak, giving it a lovely spiciness. The wine has concentration and complexity without being heavy and the tannins are ripe and lush. The acidity ensures plenty of freshness of fruit as well. In all a very characterful and interesting wine. And it adores food, a nice casserole is the perfect pairing, think cassoulet and you get the idea.

  • Vintage: 2008
  • Colour: Red
  • Price: £13.50 - £16.50
  • Style: Ripe full bodied red
  • Grape/ Blend: Grenache Carignan Cinsault Mourvedre
  • Alcohol %: 14%
  • Closure Type: Natural Cork
Wine selected by Pieter Rosenthal at

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