Established north of Montpellier at the crossroads of several Languedoc appellations, the Domaine Saint Clement is distinguished by an atypical grape variety well valued by wines taking care of the varietal expressions.
To the east of Saint-Clement-de-Riviere, along the Montferrier road which extends the northern axis of Montpellier, flows peacefully the Lez. The river originates here, in a wine-growing enclave sandwiched between the southwestern and southeastern branches of thePDO Pic Saint Loup. The vineyard of Saint Clement there occupies an area of 30 hectares which could be classified as AOP Gres de Montpellier just as much as in AOP Languedoc. However Calista et Henri Bernabé, managers of the estate, have made a completely different choice. They have freed themselves from the strict framework of appellations to produce wines in their image, in keeping with the spirit of the place. The family management offers them this full autonomy which applies to endowing this singular domain with an original wine production.
At the source of the name
Seize the spirit of Domaine Saint Clement presupposes knowledge of the historical environment and the symbols that derive from it. The first image that imposes itself is the fresco with the large blue ram that adorns the large portal of the cellar. In the cellar, his effigy reappears on wine labels, superimposed on a marine anchor. Because Saint Clement is above all the name of a source revealed nearby by a ram and whose timely discovery made it possible to supply the aqueduct which carried water to Montpellier. As for the sea anchor, Henri Bernabé will not fail to reveal its hagiographical origin: martyrdom of the 1er century, Saint Clement was thrown into the sea, his neck weighed down by this fatal rigging.
Atypical grape varieties
The symbols being posed it is guessed that the Domaine Saint Clement is a place with personality. This begins with the choice of the grape varieties of which Henri Bernabé is a connoisseur. Terroir explorer and expert in grape varieties in a previous life, he made the choice with his wife Calista, to establish on these soils Languedoc an ampelographic palette that deviates from the local classics. On this very calcareous terroir which foreshadows the mineral elegance of the wines, the reds and rosés summon Nielluccio, Petit Verdot, Merlot or Touriga nacional, while the white wines mobilize Marsanne, Chardonnay, Rolle or Savagnin. In addition, the proximity of the Lez brings them great freshness, even at the risk of frost periods in winter. As for the privileged grassing, it encourages the vines to gain in vigor while a plot of aromatic herbs planted in 2022 enriches biodiversity. The vineyard is called upon to frequent the aromatic complexes of thyme, rosemary, sage, lavender and Boufarik roses.
Each wine an expression
Le Domaine Saint Clement has a historic wine cellar which was the site of an important wine production. Equipped with stainless steel vats as well as a space dedicated to aging in barrels, this cellar of nearly 1200 m2, with thick walls, offers a very appreciable thermal inertia. The vinification and aging infrastructure is tailored to serve the original choice of grape varieties with creative latitude. The cellar which extends it, converted into an art gallery, confirms by its atmosphere that wine here is creation and expression. The first level of taste discovery can be found on the ranges Aries Blue ou Little Evening, each of which includes a red wine, a rosé wine and a white wine. These cuvées offer a gateway to the varietal profiles of the grape varieties favored by the estate. Beyond these first thresholds, density and complexity will be tied around a few flagship cuvées. Red Elixir, a rare blend of Touriga Nacional and Petit Verdot, will forge its character over 12 months of aging in barrels. The signature of aging in barrels also contributes to the definition ofWhite Elixir, a pure Chardonnay. As for the great wine of Domaine Saint Clement, he is named LXR Quintessence ; it is only produced in exceptional vintages, when Touriga Nacional and Petit Verdot offer their highest potential for maturity, magnified after vinification by aging for 24 months in barrels.