The vineyard and its grape vines for negrette
The vineyard of Fronton is one of the oldest in France. It was the Romains who, in the 4th century, planted the first grape vines in the region. Located between the county of Garonne and Tarn, north of Toulouse, the vineyard benefits from a pleasant and sunny climate allowing an excellent maturity of the grapes. At the time, Fronton and Villaudric were two terroirs differentiated. In 1975, the regional wines pass to an « AOC Côtes du Frontonnais« . Since 2005, the entire vineyard is called « AOP Fronton« .
The vineyard of Chateau Clos Mignon « Appellation d’Origine Protégée Fronton » :
Installed on a typical terroir of l’AOP Fronton, the grape vines of Château Clos Mignon benefit from a soil composed of boulebene, very fine alluvial sands and pebbles. This terroir gives all its characteristic and brings its particular uniqueness to the wines of Clos Mignon which makes its reputation.
The vineyard covers a surface of 22 hectares, in one piece of land.
Grape varieties include 50% of Negrette, an ancient variety typical of the Fronton AOP label, 25% of Cabernet Franc, and 25% of Syrah. The yields are 50 hectolitres per hectare, and vine density is 4500 plants per hectare. This allows to obtain the best conditions for quality wines and respect for the Fronton AOP.
The grape vines of the Domaine
- This rare variety is a source of pride for Fronton, first writings mentionning « Negrette« were found in the 6th century. Given the name « Mavro », which means « black » in Greek, making reference to the very dark color of its wine. It reappeared later, in the 12th century, under the name of « Negret ». It is classified within the Cotoïdes family, typical in the Southwest vineyards. But after adhesion to the AOP, Fronton was the only one to maintain it, and forms an identity, making « Negrette » a worldwide exclusive Fronton appellation.
- Legend says that « Negrette » was imported from Cyprus by the knights of Saint Jean of Jerusalem, during the crusades. Typical grape variety of Fronton, however we can find some rare varieties in Ile-de Ré, « la folle noire », or again in Charentes or Vendée. This grape was abandoned elsewhere due to it’s very capricious character. But the Frontonnais terroir allows the perfect expression of it’s qualities. These grapes are small and very compact.
This bright colored wine has a wide and intense aromatic palette :
Violet, licorice, vanilla, blackcurrant, blackberry, strawberry. Negrette wines are soft and fruity, balanced, colored and spicy. Negrette is the principal variety in Fronton appellation, which must contain a minimum
of 50% of this grape. The reds are often a blend of Negrette (blended most often with Syrah and Cabernet), which starts to be vinified alone, and recently possible in very few places, to discover it in wines 100% Negrette, which are the typical expression of Fronton wines. Aging ability being limited, for this reason, these wines are best enjoyed when they are young.