Kravitz still has a knack for finding good wines at great prices – Robert Parker, Parker on Wine, BusinessWeek, 8/20 & 27, 2007

Domaine Cabirau

Domaine Cabirau From 1980 - 2007, importer Dan Kravitz sold OPW (other people’s wine). In ’07 he took the plunge and bought 13.5 acres of Grenache vineyards in Roussillon, the French part of Catalonia. The vineyard is 20 miles inland from the Mediterranean and 20 miles north of Spain. Ten acres were 20 years old, the rest 60. The name ‘Cabirau’ has been on the plat map for 100 years. The vines are planted on steep slopes of schist, dark sharp rock that gives a distinctive mineral character to Grenache, different from the earthiness of Cotes du Rhone planted on flat vineyards of smooth white river stones.

Fast forward to 2014. There are now 18 acres (12 Grenache, 3.5 Syrah, 2.5 Carignan) in Dan’s village of Maury, previously known for dessert wines. There have always been two bottlings. As the increasingly prestigious Roussillon Appellation requires at least 3 varietals, the first bottlings were Vin de Pays Grenache. Today the basic bottling is Roussillon, a blend of 70% Grenache, with Syrah and Carignan. The top bottling uses the new Appellation ‘Maury Sec’. Based on old vine Grenache, it also incorporates Syrah and Carignan.

In 2008 Dan became the first American member of La Tautavelloise, a progressive Cooperative in a village adjoining Maury. The next year the two Cooperatives of Tautavel merged with one in Vingrau to form VTV (Les Vignerons de Tautavel Vingrau), under the leadership of La Tautavelloise. Dan’s Cabirau has become the ambassador for the quality-obsessed team at VTV, with sales throughout Europe as well as the U.S., and soon (knock on wood) Asia.

Dan maintains a library of all of the wines produced from Cabirau (it is time to drink up the basic ’07), and small quantities of the older bottlings remain available. The current releases are the 2011 Domaine Cabirau Cotes du Roussillon and the 2011 Domaine Cabirau Maury Sec ‘Serge & Nicolas’. The top bottling is named after the two most important people to Dan’s Cabirau project. Serge Soulatge works the vineyard with the same care he gives his own. Serge considers a poorly tended vineyard an offense against the universe. Nicolas Burger is the head winemaker at VTV and somehow finds the time to oversee artisanal vinification of Cabirau while simultaneously producing wines from the over 2000 acres jointly owned by other Coop members.

Dan is happy that the wines have been well received both by the market and the press and that he is achieving his goal of a sustainable vineyard in one of France’s best and best value Appellations.

Domaine Cabirau

THE WINES OF DOMAINE CABIRAU
  2013 Côtes du Roussillon
2012 Côtes du Roussillon
2016 Côtes du Roussillon
2015 Côtes du Roussillon
2014 Côtes du Roussillon
2015 First Things First
2009 Malgré les Fonctionnaires
2011 Serge & Nicolas
2013 Serge & Nicolas Maury Sec
2015 Serge & Nicolas Maury Sec
2012 Serge & Nicolas Maury Sec
2016 Serge & Nicolas Maury Sec
2014 Serge & Nicolas Maury Sec