Tenth anniversary of the Mas Haut Buis and Domaine Des Grecaux
10 Portraits for 10 Years
The outsider of Languedoc
Born in 1970, Olivier Jeantet owns the Mas Haut-Buis since 1999. Fond of care racing (he used to be a rallye driver), it is in good part his love for gastronomy that led him to become a vigneron! Self-taught, he learned the work in the vineyards with Paul Galibert, a local vigneron working in a wine cooperative. From the very beginning, he opted for organic viticulture. "Chemical treatments really scared me," he says. "To have to dress like an astronaut before going to work in the vineyard and then let your children eat the grapes just cannot work."
"In a tricky vintage like 2011, our organic approach is typically bearing fruit. We had healthier grapes than most of the vignerons of the area who are still using chemicals. They actually were more affected by oidium and mildew!", he adds.
In the cellar, Olivier Jeantet decided a couple of years ago to reduce the use of oak - or better said: to use it differently - for wine ageing. As a result, all small barrels (225 litres) have now been replaced by 600-litre demi-muids and 20-hectolitre Stockinger foudres.
"The introduction of cement tronconic vats has oriented my winemaking towards lower and finer extraction" he says. "Les Carlines is not aged in wooden casks anymore but only in cement vats, to ensure that it keeps a highly fruity and tensed profile. The Costa Caoude is only aged in foudres now and it will be the same for Les Agrunelles in a close future. Generally speaking, I believe that larger oak vats suit my wines and terroirs better."