Château Clamens

Château Clamens in Fronton has quietly established itself as a reference point for the wines of the South West of France. It is the heir to a long tradition of enthusiastic winemakers, inspired first by the Romans who began the cultivation of vines in Fronton, later developed by the Templars who lived in the region after their return from the Crusades and who established the Négrette grape variety and, finally, by generations of the same family who have worked the vineyards of Château Clamens for over 150 years.

All of the Clamens wines are predominantly made from a grape unique to Fronton: Négrette. By pairing it with Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, the chateau creates original and complex wines. They emanate from very diverse soils that provide a strong, powerful character - both the old river bed of the Tarn and Garonne lie beneath the vineyards. Today, Château Clamens is the only winery in Fronton, which covers three municipalities and two départements.

The first mention of the estate in commune records dates back to 1868, and it was passed down through the generations of the Clamens family. The Bégué family, related by marriage, has cared for the domaine for four generations and today, youngest son Jean-Michel orchestrates operations. This lauded winemaker knows better than most the strengths and the peculiarities of the Clamens estate. Each vintage he demonstrates his talent for selecting the best parcels of grapes and for elevating them into wines of great typicity and delight, neither fining or filtering them prior to bottling. In 2012, Jean-Michel Bégué sold the Clamens estate to Stefan Heppelmann, a German entrepreneur who is passionate about wine. Jean-Michel has remained in situ as winemaker with the full backing and financial support of the new owner, allowing him the freedom to create ever more sublime wines.

One of the secrets of Jean Michel's success is Négrette, a grape variety found nowhere else in the world. Cultivated locally for over 1000 years, this inimitable grape was cause for Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu to have their famous "wine tasting battles" during the siege of Montauban. Fine and delicate, Négrette develops subtle aromas of violet, red berries and liquorice. It comprises at least 50% of each of the Château Clamens blends and it is the basic structure around which the character of these astonishing wines is built.
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