Le Bouc à Trois Pattes – Wim Wagemans

Wim Wagemans – Introduction

Le Bouc à Trois Pattes means “The Three-Legged Goat” – apparently named after a mass produced “supermarket” wine that featured an animal with five legs. Having spent a jovial lunch with Wim Wagemans and his friend and our long time producer Axel Prüfer, we know he has a good sense of humour!

Wim's vineyard looking to the mountains
Wim’s vineyard looking to the mountains

Wim’s vineyards are located in the beautiful Haute Vallee de l’Orb just south-west of the village of Bedarieux. This is indeed rugged country with forested mountains cut through by the Orb River that flows past Axel’s winery near Le Mas Blanc then on to Bedarieux then past Lamalou, then Mons where Wim’s vines are and then in a huge arc down to the picturesque town of Roquebrun where we had that lunch.

Wim Wagemans very old vine
Wim Wagemans: A very old vine

Wim has around five hectares of vines which he tends using biodynamic principles. He has Carignan, Grenache Blanc, Syrah and Chardonnay.

Entrance to Wim's winery
Entrance to Wim’s winery

The harvest in 2020 was, again almost non-existent for Wim but he was able to retrieve a tiny allocation for us to bring to Australia.

Wim does not use any sulphites in his wines.

Le Bouc à Trois Pattes Miss Piggy Blues 2021

Miss Piggy
Miss Piggy fermenting in a fibreglass tank

This is a very light, yet elegant wine, made from Muscat à Petits Grains Rose and very old Cinsault (approximately 100 years old) which grows in the vineyard around Wim’s winery. The Cinsault vines are very, very small and very contorted with each only yielding a few bunches of grapes.

The Muscat à Petits Grains Rose has pink-flecked skin (note that this is Rose and not Rosé – there are quite a few Rose variants of white and/or black grape varieties).

The end result is that this is a light red wine that is perfect for drinking at any time that you don’t want a blockbuster! It weighs in at a very nice 12% alcohol.


Le Bouc à Trois Pattes Perdu dans les Dunes 2021

There was only a very tiny allocation of Perdu dans les Dunes this year due to the nature of the season. Therefore it will be very difficult for us to allocate more than 1 bottle of the wine to just a few lucky customers.

The wine is made from one of our favourite white grapes, namely Clairette, which underwent carbonic maceration for a few days, before being pressed and bottled.

It is a beautiful orange wine without any of the negatives associated with orange wines that have been macerated for too long and become bitter.

And, by the way, the three-legged camel (le bouc) is “lost in the dunes”.

RRP: $44

Le Bouc à Trois Pattes Quel Âne de Course 2021

Wim has changed the “recipe” for this wine based on his experience from last year.

Wim was in the difficult position last year that his Carignan did not ripen sufficiently before he needed to pick it. However it turned out that the juice was quite interesting and combined well with the Merlot and Shiraz that he used to create the blend.

This year he decided to make the wine entirely from the Carignan which, once again, he picked before it had reached full ripeness. The Carignan vines grow in soil that is an interesting mix of gneiss, granite and shale.

RRP: $44

Le Bouc à Trois Pattes French Press Shiraz 2021

This wine is named after a “hipster friend (note the label)” of Wim’s who is a coffee specialist (no – there isn’t any coffee in the wine).

The colour is intense due to the presence of Merlot (see below) and the alcohol is high, reflecting the higher temperatures being experienced in this part of France.

However, you need to understand the mind of Wim before you try to understand this wine. The wine has a little Syrah (15%), but 50% is Merlot! He called it an Unwashed Shiraz Blend because he thinks that Shiraz sounds “more fun” in English!

Now to the blend. There are actually 8 different grape varieties in this blend. We have already mentioned Merlot and Syrah, but there is also Muscat de Hambourg (15%) then small amounts of Terret Bourret, Alicante Bouschet, Muscat à Petits Grains Blanc, Chardonnay and Grenache Gris.

RRP: $49

Le Bouc à Trois Pattes Un Coup de Kuq 2021

Some customers will remember this one from last year. This is a wine that also shows what Wim can do with Syrah.

In this case the wine was made purely from the free run juice while the pressed juice was made into another wine called Un Coup de Buck, named after the graphic artist for the wine.

This wine tastes quite light. You could almost call it fruity which is not a term often associated with Syrah.

The alcohol level sits at a moderate 13% this year and the volatile acidity is slightly higher also at 1.2 but you will not notice it in this wine.

Only the free run juice was used to make this wine.

Le Bouc à Trois Pattes Brutal 2019

This year, Wim has been able to create a wine that satisfies the requirements of the Brutal marketing concept that has become so popular with many winemakers.

It is trademark Wim! Because he is devoted to lighter-style red wines, he often direct presses at least one of the grape varieties in his wines. Last year it was the Syrah in his Miss Piggy Blues, this year it is Brutal and the Cinsault which is one of the two grape varieties in this wine.

Once he had pressed the Cinsault to produce a white wine (in the December 2020 newsletter we explained why pressing red grapes produces white juice), he added whole bunches of Carignan to the fermenting juice.

The result was a delicious rosé-like wine that is lively and very delicious, with surprising depth of flavour for an 11% alcohol wine. There has been no addition of sulphites at any stage of the winemaking process.

Wim had a very bad run in 2019 with frosts, so there is not very much of this wine available, and those of you who have enjoyed his light reds from last year will need to jump in fast.


Le Bouc à Trois Pattes Fine du Languedoc Guilielmus

This is the first time we have imported a Languedoc brandy! Yes, there is brandy widely produced in the Languedoc – it is just not as well known as their cousins in the west of France. There is even a similar set of rules as those adopted by Cognac including the ability to produced VSOP and XO versions of this brandy.

Wim has been maturing this brandy for five years after the distillation which must satisfy a number of rules of the appellation including:

  • the grapes from which the brandy is made must have a yield of less than 100 hectolitres of wine per hectare;
  • the alcohol content of the wine must be between 9% alcohol and 15% alcohol;
  • the wine must be distilled by March 31st in the year following the harvest;
  • the vessel in which the distillation occurs must have a capacity LESS than 40 hectolitres;
  • the resultant spirit must be matured in oak barrels for at least five years;
  • the spirit must be made in one of the villages designated in the official document for this appellation.

This brandy meets all of those requirements (Wim’s village of Autignac is one of the official villages) therefore has the Fine du Languedoc appellation on the label. The grape variety from which the initial wine was made is Grenache Noir.

RRP: $136 for 750 mls

Le Bouc à Trois Pattes Vin de France 2021

This straight Syrah that is only graced with the name “Vin de France” is a delicious light red from Wim who is earning a reputation as a master of light reds.

And typical of the way Wim’s mind works, this is his most expensive wine this year, so he has given it a name that is unexpected, that is “Vin de France”!

It may be a straight Syrah and there is some weight in the wine, but it is still very drinkable and very charming in a way. We really enjoy drinking it and believe that it is worth the price and it is certainly one that can be served slightly chilled.

RRP: $58