Maxime Magnon may be Burgundian by birth, but his incredible skill as a vigneron was not a result of being born into a family of winemakers or vineyard owners, it is due to the personal journey he has taken and those he has studied under.
Initially heading south, he first settled in Morgon where he worked under Jean Foillard, then west to the Languedoc and Faugères to be further mentored by Didier Barral. In 2002 he finally started out on his own, purchasing nine parcels of primarily old vine Carignan across 11 hectares of vineyards on the steep slopes of the high-altitude Hautes-Corbières, old vines planted on schist and decomposed granite, certified organic and farmed using biodynamic practices.
Any wooden barrels used in the winery are old, and use of sulphur is limited to a minimal addition at bottling. Maxime’s light touch in the cellar is an educated one, the influence of Burgundy, Cru Beaujolais and the Northern Rhone are evident as soon as you smell the wines. These are not overworked and heavily extracted stereotypes, they are the perfect example of how, in the right hands, the Languedoc is capable of elegance and nuance to balance the concentration and flavour profile associated with the region.
The terroir shines through and Maxime is well on his way to becoming one of France’s, not just the Languedoc’s, most respected winemakers. Demand from the wine bars of Paris, Lyon and beyond is high, and with production totalling only 1700 cases we had to wait several years before finally getting the opportunity to bring the wines to the UK.
La Bégou is Maxime’s sole white cuvée, 50-60 year-old Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Carignan Gris fermented in foudre and aged for 10 months in barrel. Rozeta is made from majority Carignan, with some Grenache and Cinsault from vineyards interplanted with small amounts of Grenache Gris, Macabou, and Terret, all harvested together and co-fermented. Again, the vines here are all at least 50 years old. Maxime’s top cuvée is Campagnès, 100 year-old Carignan vines from a single vineyard site on the steep slopes above the river Berre, here clay and limestone form the soil profile.
Wines available from Maxime Magnon:
Corbières Blanc La Bégou
Corbières Rosé Métisse
Corbières Cuvée Rose