Firstly, a few words
about my own background, which may help clarify the objectives of Primo
Born in Cahors in 1968, I graduated from the University of Enology at
Toulouse in 1991. After having made wine in Cahors in 1990 and at Domaine de
Chevalier in 1991, I settled in Bordeaux and established my first company,
Réveil-Papilles. After a last vinification, the same year, at Château de
Fieuzal, I concentrated on consultancy, teaching enology, and trading in the
top wines of the South-West and Languedoc-Roussillon. I had visited these
regions many times between 1989, when I began my enology studies, and 1996,
and had therefore established privileged contacts with the best growers.
These contacts later proved the key in successfully establishing Primo
In September 1996, just before the harvests, following a long conversation
with a friend who was also a wine trader, I decided to make the break and
return to my original vocation - making wine. But how could I do this
without vines, cellars or money ? A few persuasive phone calls convinced
friendly growers to allot me a small part of their harvest to launch the
range of “haute expression” wines. This range took the name Primo Palatum a
few months later.
The philosophy ?
• To create a unique long-term partnership with a single grower per
appellation possessing a particularly well-sited vineyard.
• To work from one year to the next with the same selected parcel, planted
with the native varieties of the region, or with those that best express the
full potential of the terroir on which they are planted.
• To share with the grower all means available, technical and financial, as
well as experience and “talent” so as to produce the very best wine
This involves above all very careful work in the vineyard, with short
pruning, green harvesting if necessary and leaf-plucking, in order to obtain
low yields of ripe, balanced grapes.
Then, for the whites, gentle pressing, fermentation and ageing in cask on
the lees with bâtonnage. For the reds, long macerations with measured
extractions in order to preserve all the flavour of the ripe fruit and the
finesse of the tannins. The final blend is always assembled before
malolactic fermentation and subsequent ageing. Ageing in barrels, on the
fine lees, with bâtonnage, and no racking until the bottling. This takes
place with neither fining nor filtration.
The ageing of the whites, as well as the reds, is conducted in 225 litre
barrels custom-made with my personal selection of staves, from fine grain
Allier and Nevers oak, dried in the open air for 36 months.
All the wines in the Primo Palatum range are vinified, aged and bottled in
their region of origin. This has a price, but is the only way for me to
preserve the precious link with the different terroirs and the growers who
bring them to life. The role of Primo Palatum is ultimately closer to that
of a wine producer expressing precise terroirs than to that of a traditional
négociant-eleveur who blends wines from different growers and centralises
ageing and bottling on one site.
This gives Primo Palatum a unique place in today’s French wine landscape.
With passion and rigour, Primo Palatum continues to offer wines of the