Etienne Fort

Étienne Fort

VigneronÉtienne Fort
LocationBouriège (Aude)
Size of Domaine11 ha
TerroirMediterranean climate with Atlantic influence. Clay-limestone soils. 20-30° slopes. 450m altitude.
ViticulturePractising organic
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Prior to 2011, in his early twenties, Étienne Fort used to sell the high-quality grapes from his family's property, the Château St Salvadou, to the local co-op where they ended up in a generic sparkling wine.

With 11ha of older low-yielding vines in deep limestone-clay soils located at 450m altitude (the highest blocks of vines in the appellation), Étienne knew that the fruit he was giving away was a cut above. So he decided to produce his first domaine bottled Crémant and Blanquette de Limoux in 2013. Inspired by great champagnes from the likes of Anselme Selosse, all farming is respectful of his exceptional terroir and the fruit is harvested manually.

Dad wanted Etienne to call the domaine Château St Salvadou, but tagging them S (Monsieur S) was as far as Etienne would go.

The Blanquette cuvée spends 12 months 'sur lattes' before release while the Crémant sees 24 months on lees – emulating the best Champagne growers. They are made without any dosage which leaves them dry, refreshing, saline and very expressive of their regional identity.

High altitude vineyards in Limoux

Étienne Fort Wines

Étienne Fort

80% Chardonnay, 20% Chenin (12.5% alc.)

Named after Jean-Michel Basquiat, who created political and poetical graffiti in New York during the late 1970s under the name of Samo, and whose work Étienne adores. This is Étienne’s first still Limoux white from old organically tended vines at high altitude aged in older demi-muids. It retains an incredible freshness and acidity, is well balanced and at ease (with low sulphur), putting us more in mind of good Jura whites – and it’s great vfm.

Étienne Fort

Monsieur S
100% Mauzac (12.5% alc.)

In just his late twenties Étienne Fort makes brilliant sparkling wines by the méthode traditionnelle (the same as for champagne), from the best parcels of 11ha of organically worked vines in the high altitude (450m) limestone-based foothills of the Pyrénées. He is based in St-Salvadou hence 'Monsieur S'. Aged for six months in cuve, then a year in bottle, and disgorged with no dosage, this exceptional value fizz has a fine bubble, and refreshing zesty fruit.

Étienne Fort

Monsieur S
65% Chardonnay, 25% Chenin, 10% Pinot Noir (12.5% alc.)

Étienne’s Crémant is a more complex sparkling wine, sourced once again from low-yielding vines at high altitude (450m) which helps to preserve freshness and cut. Wild yeast fermentation in old demi-muids and foudres, 10-12 months ageing before being bottled off for second fermentation. Around 24 months ageing on lees 'sur lattes', disgorged with zero dosage. This has attractive citrus fruits, syllabub and lime blossom, a nice saline freshness and gentle bitters on the finish.