Domaine Marion Pla is named for the winemaker, Marion. Located in the village of Cessenon-sur-Orb, in the prestigious Saint-Chinian appellation in the Languedoc, Marion and her brother Antoine are the third generation to grow grapes on the property.
Jean-Pierre, Marion’s father, took over grape-growing responsibilities from his father in 1978 – although he started his working life as an electrician. Like his father, he didn’t produce wine other than for the family. He began farming by what we’d now consider organic methods in 1983. Marion decided to study winemaking at university and wanted to make organic wine. After graduation, she began the process of organic certification. Thanks to her father’s good choices, it was a relatively easy task. Marion makes five wines, all certified organic in France and the E.U., plus two AOC Languedoc bag-in-box wins. But she started off making a single red wine that she named Premier Sceau, or First Seal, containing Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Carignan. She expanded her selections after a couple of years both by acquiring another vineyard for her white wine, and also adding two more St.-Chinian reds and a rosé.
Looking at the labels, the first thing you notice is the thumbprint – it’s Antoine’s from when he was a teenager and picked up a bottle of Marion’s first production with dirt on his hands. But they all liked the look of it. He now works for the family in sales (and harvesting, of course), which was pretty much pre-ordained when he picked up that first bottle.
Marion has never exported to the U.S. before. It’s a lot of paperwork to get to export to the U.S., so she and Tom decided not to press for organic labeling this year – but will for next year.
Profonde Gratitude is a medium-bodied red wine that’s 90% Grenache, 10% Syrah, no oak. AOC Saint-Chinian wines can’t contain 100% Grenache and still be called St. Chinian, although under French labeling laws it could be labeled as just Grenache. But Marion likes transparency and thinks that the Syrah gives the Grenache the extra bit of depth it needs. Plus the ripe fruit notes you don’t necessarily find in French Grenache, which tends to be a bit earthy. So this wine has both qualities. Along with a freshness you might not expect, and a bit of floral notes, too.
||Medium Red Wine
||AOC Saint-Chinian Red
||Domaine Marion Pla
Pair with grilled meats, mushrooms, eggplant, strong cheeses