Learning about wine, vines and vignerons whilst living in the Languedoc

The melting pot of Puimisson


En Francais

In the last weekend there have been visitors to the cellars of Jeff Coutelou from the USA, Sweden, Russia and the UK. In recent times I can recall visitors from Israel, Australia, Taiwan and Japan. No doubt there have been many others. What draws everyone to Puimisson is the wine, admired and coveted from all over the world.

Mats-Eric, family and friends with Jeff.

I had great pleasure in showing the renowned Swedish writer Mats-Eric Nilsson around the vineyards looking at how the vines relate to the wines themselves. As temperatures have risen markedly in the last week it was good to see the vines in very good health despite the heat. Mats-Eric is working on a new book on wine, his previous one Chateau Vada is available now.

As you can see the Kina disappears quickly!

Within the cellar change was stirring. Whilst it is still the wines which are the flagship and main substance of the domaine there has been a shift in emphasis. The name ‘Vins et Spiritueux Coutelou’ tells the story. Vermouth (kina), gin, brandy, triple sec are now for sale. With a Coutelou twist of course. No industrial alcohol as an ingredient, meaning that labels have to carefully following guidelines. Not gin but Djinn (as in genie) for example. You may recall I reported on the making of the vermouths. There are three styles, a very dry, one with a little more sweetness from residual sugar and a red vermouth too.

To reflect this new arm of the domaine Jeff, Julien and Nathan were re-arranging barrels within the cellar to create distinct areas for the spirits. And out of that rearrangement came a new discovery for me, a port.

Made in 2012, stored in barrel (see photo above) it is in the style of a Late Bottled Vintage port. The barrel ageing had given it a hint of wood but there was a rich fruit and, as with the spirits, no strong alcohol sensation because of the natural alcohol used. Having spent some time in Porto this year and being a fan of port in general I can honestly say this wine is very good, another top quality addition to the range.

The triple sec, an orange flavoured spirit, was made in a stainless steel tank. Have a look at how it emerged at different stages from there to be allowed to settle in large bottles. The various stages are evident.

Vermouth stored in the solera cellar, the barrel on the left needs attention

With Jeff there is always change, experimenting and new wines and products. He enjoys the challenge of conjuring up and mastering the different styles. And that is without mentioning the solera system again. This really is a melting pot, a crucible of discovery. The fact that he attracts support from all over the planet suggests that many others appreciate that work and creativity.

Author: amarch34

I'm a recently retired (early!) teacher from County Durham in North east England. I am going to be spending most of the next year in the Languedoc leaarning about wines, vineyards and the people who care for both.

7 thoughts on “The melting pot of Puimisson

  1. Really nice and fun to read your accounts of our visit at Jeff’s! Those hours there where one of this vacation’s memorable moments, your spontaneous vineyard tour of course included!
    When do yo think harvest will start this year? At Coutelou and in general in the area (this part of Languedoc).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The various heatwaves are certainly creating some problems. Hopefully good.


  3. I’m planning to come down to the area with my photographer to cover harvest. Do you have any idea when it will be this year?


  4. It will be into September. I’ll check with Jeff but things were delayed this year


  5. Thank you for asking him when you meet. Christelle Duffours at Mas Troqué (Aspiran) said that she plans to start Aug 31.
    Another completely different question: do natural growers use manure or just composts and other organic material to enhance the soil in the vineyard?


    • Confirmed that it’s September. As for manure, the lack of rules means some probably do especially for young vines. I don’t recall Jeff ever using it. He uses the plant growth in the vines and ploughs that into the soil. For new vines he sometimes surrounds them with volcanic soils.


  6. OK. Thanks for your reply. I guess the harvest will start in the first days of September then?
    And do you think that using manure is fairly uncommon among natural growers?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s