Guide to the Loire regions

Côtes du Forez

Grower Profiles

Domaine de Couzan
Frédéric Murat described himself as a ‘comedian’ when we met at his garage-cum-cuverie on a cold November night, but the true reason for this nocturnal visit was that during the day he works as a geology teacher at a bureau d’étude in Saint-Étienne, but created his part-time domaine out of his passion for wine. Murat was born in the village where we are standing, although his family has no vinous legacy. He began his fledgling operation in 2002 with just half a hectare of vines and has since built up his holdings to a total of 3 hectares of old-ish vine Gamay, rented from retired coopérateur/agriculteurs in Pralong and Trelins. There is also half hectare of Chardonnay which he rents from his father-in-law in Sail-sous-Couzan. It was planted in 2005, but his first potential crop was hailed out in 2008 and Murat was not happy with the results in 2009, so is looking for his first commercial release in 2010.

He produces a single red and rosé for the moment, with total production hovering around 7,500 bottles a year, selling about two-thirds within the département itself.

His Côtes du Forez Rosé is a tight, lean and mineral is produced by pressurage direct, whilst his Côtes du Forez Rouge is named after his 10 year old daughter, Alexis, which he elects to bottle only 14 months after the vintage. The 2007 and 2006 were both a little too lean and grippy and marked by their acidity.

Frédéric Murat
Domaine de Couzan
T/F: + 33 4 77 97 63 57


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