Le Bouc à Trois Pattes – Wim Wagemans

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 2020

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 Muscat de Hambourg which we some times find in vineyards of our producers in Alsace.

So, what does this wine look like? (Muscat de Hambourg is a black grape unlike most other Muscats which are white and 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 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.

RRP: $(SOLD OUT)

Le Bouc à Trois Pattes Perdu dans les Dunes 2020

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: $(SOLD OUT)

Le Bouc à Trois Pattes Quel Âne de Course 2020

Making this wine must have created lots of difficulties for Wim, however we are delighted with the way it turned out – although it will probably win an award for the strangest wine of the season!

Wim was in the difficult position that his Carignan did not ripen sufficiently before he needed to pick it. On the other hand, his Merlot was overripe when he came to pick that plot! The slightly better news is that the Syrah was just right. The combination, however, was quite balanced with the ripe Merlot counterbalancing the acidic Carignan.

He then layered the grapes in a tank to undergo carbonic maceration and layered (between the Merlot and Carignan) some ripe figs that grow in the same vineyard! So we now have a wine that is somewhat similar to the beautiful cuvee that Sextant produced last year which was infused with apricots. Expect this to happen more often in the future as more winemakers realise the direct benefits of co-planting fruit trees with vines.

RRP: $44 (SOLD OUT)

Le Bouc à Trois Pattes Slow Drip Black Shiraz 2020

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

It is a light wine, as only Wim could make with a grape such as Syrah! The colour is intense but the alcohol is low at 11.5% and it tastes quite mellow. Now, we normally wouldn’t get too excited about a pure Syrah (Shiraz) because we find them to be powerful and tannic.

However, even though we hadn’t tasted it due to not visiting France during Covid, we trust his judgement and hence ordered a small quantity (everything he makes is in small quantities) of this wine.

When you pour it into the glass it looks like it is going to be massive with its purple hues and dark colour. However it is beautifully balanced and really quite elegant. A very interesting wine!

RRP: $44

Le Bouc à Trois Pattes Un Coup de Kuq 2020

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

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

The alcohol level is slightly higher this year at 13.5% and the volatile acidity is slightly higher also at 1.2 but you will not notice it in this wine.

RRP: $44 (SOLD OUT)

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.

RRP: $48 (SOLD OUT)

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 Une Fille, Une Planète 2019

Une Fille, Une Planète is a delicious light red from Wim who is earning a reputation as a master of light reds.

This wine is made from the red grape Aramon that we have written about in the January 2021 Wine Talk Newsletter. At one stage it was widely planted in the Languedoc, but in the sixties and seventies was pulled out at the urging of the French authorities and replaced with “international” varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.

We think that was a pity and that Aramon definitely has a place as an indigenous grape as exemplified by this wine. The Aramon was macerated for a short time to extract the colour and flavour from the skins and then some Ugni Blanc was added to provide freshness.

As a side note we wonder whether Wim used this combination because one of the other names by which Aramon is known is Ugni Noir!

Ugni Blanc (Trebbiano) is more commonly used for making Cognac and Armagnac in France.

Unfortunately, we only received a tiny quantity of this wine and it is no longer available.

RRP: SOLD OUT