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 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
Miss Piggy fermenting in a fibreglass tank
Wim Wagemans Miss Piggy Blues

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 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 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.