Producer: Chateau Flotis
Wine: 2015 Fronton Si Noire
Varietal: 100% Negrette
Nose: Aromas of ripe fruit, black licorice, eucalyptus and herbs
Palate: A real intricate full-bodied wine that exhibits great structure with a solid freshness. Real winner!
Food: Lamb either roasted or in tagine, couscous, Beef Bourguignon, Mediterranean prawn brochettes, grilled pork, beef casserole, smoked duck breast, pan-fried veal chop.
Cellaring: Drink now or enjoy through 2023
Castelnau d’Estretefonds (Southwest)
Located in Castelnau d’Estretefonds, in the heart of the Fronton appellation, the domaine has been owned and operated by Cathy Ribes since 2004 (who also owns Domaine du Roc). She is constantly replacing and working the vines of varietals native to this area such as Negrette, the most noble of that region. Cathy is also working on a new cellar half of which is underground, like a cave under a cliff where they store the harvest in tanks directly by gravity.
In 2009, Cathy decided to start the organic conversion of the entire domaine which was certified in 2012. With this in mind, her wines do not see any added yeast, filtration, collage, and minimum amounts of oak aging for some cuvees. Si Noire is the flagship of the property and the result of 37 year-old vines growing on 5 acres at the highest elevation of the vineyards, adjacent to an oak forest on stony soil.
In Gallo-Roman times, Fronton stood on the road that linked Toulouse to Cahors. It is said that the vineyards were first planted at this time. In 1122, certain feudal lords of the region ceded a vast area of land to the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, so that a town could be founded there.
The act of donation of the town to the Order of St. John of Jerusalem in 1122 makes the first known mention of the presence of vineyards here. It is thought that the Négrette grape, which nowadays gives the vineyard its specific character, was brought back from Cyprus by the Knights of the Order when they returned from the Crusades. The vineyard was hit by two major crises: phylloxera (late 19th century.) and overproduction in 1907. The late 20th century brought recognition for the wine, and the Fronton Vineyard was awarded the coveted AOC status in 1975.
In the South-West of France, between the rivers Tarn and Garonne, the Fronton designation extends across twenty communes around the old town of Fronton. Negrette is the most noble grape on the slopes of Fronton..
On this small appellation, covering barely 5930 acres, the “terroir” yields honest, genuine wines, for which the people of Toulouse are the principal ambassadors.
Information by Fronton
Going down the left bank of the Tarn towards Toulouse and the Garonne, you can see three former terraces of the Tarn, forming three separate terroirs:
1) Alluvial soils composed of pebbles, gravel, sand and silt.
2) Silty clay soils
3) Pebbles and gravel on the surface, with deep layers of clay underneath.
The Frontonnais area’s climate also plays an important role. Just think : with over 2000 hours of sunshine per year, Fronton enjoys plenty of sun, plus fairly low rainfall and relatively cool nights. These conditions, coupled with the “vent d’autan” (a hot, dry southerly wind) keep the vines healthy and help the grapes to ripen fully.