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 Prufer, we know he has a good sense of humour!
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 where Wim’s vines are and then in a huge arc down to the picturesque town of Roquebrun where we had that lunch.
Wim has around five hectares of vines which he tends using biodynamic principles. He has Carignan, Grenache Blanc, Syrah and Chardonnay.
The harvest in 2018 was, for a second time, 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 2018
Miss Piggy actually has a drawing of a three legged goat (hence the lost in the dunes reference and a continuation of the “Trois Pattes” theme).
This is a very light, yet elegant wine, made from 75% Syrah and 25% Muscat de Hambourg.
How did he make it light when using Syrah and Black Muscat (Muscat de Hambourg is a black grape unlike most other Muscats which are white)? What he did was direct press the Syrah to produce a white wine (most red grapes have white juice which becomes red through extended contact with the skins which is where the colour is). He then macerated the Black Muscat for a week to extract some colour and combined the two to produce this wonderful wine.
Le Bouc à Trois Pattes Un Coup de Kuq 2018
The Coup de Kuq is another light red wine with this one also being predominately Syrah but with the remainder being the less well-known Alicante Bouschet.
It is interesting to dwell on this grape variety because it has an interesting history and one interesting property that is rarely seen.
One of the parents of Alicante Bouschet is Petit Bouschet (the other in Grenache) which, in turn is a descendant of two very old varieties called Teinturier du Cher and Aramon. The Teinturier du Cher hails from the Cher River region in the Loire Valley and is one of very few grape varieties that has both red skin and red flesh and hence red juice. Most red grapes have white flesh and therefore must be left with the skins after crushing to extract the colour from there.
So, Alicante Bouschet inherited the teinturier characteristic from the grandparent and hence has red juice.
The Alicante was picked earlier than the Syrah and was vinified separately, gently crushed and kept aside. The Syrah was picked later and vinified with carbonic maceration. After being crushed and the juice run off the Alicante was added.
This is a delicious wine, but we do not have much available. Oh, and by the way kuq means red in Albanian!