The Terrasses du Larzac's Domaine de Malavieille is just off the western edge of Lake Salagou close to Octon, home of the well known Mas des Chimères that shares a similar terroir. The landscape is dominated by a red soil and red rippling hillsides known, at least locally, as Ruffes. This is oxidised fine grained sandstone formed some 250 million years ago at the end of what Geologists call the Permian era. Mixed in with this is basalt from volcanic activity - the picture below was taken at the base of an eroded volcanic plug.
A blend of Carignan, Grenache and Cinsault the 2006 Permian Rouge is the domain's entry red. It has gentle soft red fruits with suggestions of mint and a cherry stone finish. An uncomplicated but satisfying drink and good value at €6, although younger vintages will be a bit more and sport an all red label. Definitely on my distressingly short list of red wines with some interest and character for under €6. Malavieille has also been certified bio for several years.
The domaine also makes a Carignan dominated red Le Mas de Bertrand from vineyards over the hill in the Saint Saturnin - Montpeyroux axis, a wine that also offers excellent value for that terroir.
A day with the Mediterranean Garden Society
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