Domaine Turner-Pageot

Turner Pageot is imported to Illinois by Candid Wines

Emmanuel Pageot and Karen Turner

who? what? when? where? why? how?

who grows the grapes at Domaine Turner-Pageot? who makes the wines?

The husband and wife team of Emmanuel Pageot and Karen Turner are the heart, the soul, the brains and the strong backs responsible for the wines of Domaine Turner Pageot.  Karen, an Australian scientist turned winemaker, oversees cellar work.  Emmanuel, a French sommelier turned farmer, tends the vines.  They met while working at Domaine Hugel in Alsace and found a shared passion for discovering and building flavors in wine, and Turner-Pageot is the manifestation of their dream of owning vines and a winery in a part of the world that allows them the freedom to experiment, grow, and learn from each vintage and each block of soil.
Emmanuel Pageot and Karen Turner and kids

what wines do they make at Domaine Turner-Pageot?

From just 4.5 hectaires of grapes, or roughly 10 acres, Karen and Emmanuel produce seven or eight wines each year.  The lineup is based more on potential they find in their tiny parcels than it is on any sort of a marketing plan, and for this, we love them.

Across the board, the wines share a sense of balance and a layered and luxurious mouthfeel that is slow to reveal all of its component pieces.  “Equilibrium” is a word both Karen and Emmanuel use regularly to describe both their vines and their wines.  “Le Rouge” is  Grenache based, but has a darker streak than any Grenache we’ve seen outisde of Châteauneuf-du-Pape thanks to the unique volcanic soil on which it grows.  “Le Blanc” is a wild child – bottled with extremely low sulfur, marked by CO2, and full of divergent flavors.

Wines from Turner Pageot

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In this video Karen walks us through the white wines she and Emmanuel make at the estate. (Video by Bk Wine Tours).

when did Domaine Turner-Pageot start? when might you open a bottle?

As Turner-Pageot, 2008 was the first vintage for Karen and Emmanuel with their own names on a bottle, but it was far from the first vintage for either of them.  After meeting in Alsace and travelling the wine world together, the settled on Langudeoc because of all the regions in France, it offers them the most freedom to grow the grapes and make the wines they want.  The combination of their broad experience and the diverse soils in Gabian equals wines that work with many types of food.

Le Rouge is suggested for those who love Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Grenache with bold tannins. Carmina Major is, depending on the vintage, reminiscent of Hermitage with bright peppery spice or the rich earthy tones of Bandol as the Syrah or the Mourvedre play a leading role.  

Turner Pageot Vineyards
Le Blanc works quite well with shell-fish thanks to its pert acidity and faint sparkle (which blows off).  You might try it with oysters, or with mussels in a richer cream sauce.  Both are fun.  La Rupture is just nuts.  If you are versed in the high end Sauvingon Blancs from the Loire, and particularly those of the late Didier Dageneau, then you can use that as a direction.   Otherwise, think of foods that will stand up to dense wines with good acidity and lots of layers.

where is Domaine Turner-Pageot?

Gabian in Languedoc is in the south of France, not far from the Mediterranean, but influenced more by the local mountains and garrigue.  The town is just south of the Faugeres appellation and but for a political battle years ago, might be included in that area.  Pezenas and Beziers are the closest cities.

Of great importance is the Cadables volcano which provides north facing slopes and, long ago, spit out the rocks that now underlie Turner-Pageot’s parcels. Standing in a plot of Syrah on the back side, Emmanuel can point to five parcels within two miles that have drastically different soils, subsoils, and expositions, each of which is planted with a different mix of varieites.


why is Domaine Turner-Pageot a Candid Wine? why might you want a taste?

To begin, the wines taste to us like they would be fine examples of far more expensive bottles from some of France’s greatest regions, but don’t mistake these for simple carbon copies of anything else.  They are made in tiny quantites and everything is done by hands that prefer to make what they love rather than what any market segment might want.  They have personality, depth of character, and an edge that speaks to the focus and effort of Karen and Emmanuel as they balze new trails in the region.

If you’ve tasted something intriguing from the Languedoc of late, these wines will be an interesting follow on.  If you’ve tasted nothing from Languedoc you liked of late, these will almost surely open a new door for you (assuming top class Bandol, Hermitage, CdP, and or Pouilly Fumé are of interest to you). 

Karen Turner(left) and Emmanuel Pageot

Karen Turner(left) and Emmanuel Pageot

how is the wine made at Domaine Turner-Pageot?

Emmanuel delivers the harvest to Karen each year having worked to preserve good acidity in all the varieites.  This sounds trite, we know, but in Languedoc, acidity is often traded for big bold flavors as the sun beats down in late August and early September.  Karen’s winemaking follows a similar path, extracting as much as she can from the grapes without ever seeking weight for weight’s sake.

Le Blanc is fermented in tank while all the other wines see a blend of old and new oak barrels that skew towards the older.  The wines are marked by salinity which is teased out in part by extended macerations well beyond the norm we have seen elsewhere.  Emmanuel explains that only after weeks in contact with the juice will skins start to release some of the minerals locked inside their cell structures.  This is after tannin and color have come out.  The proof is in the pudding, and we find that we salt foods destined to pair with a bottle of Turner Pageot slightly less than we otherwise might.

Wine making process

Wine making process

“Les Choix” is an orange wine made from 100% Marsanne where the white grapes are handled as if a red wine was being made with lengthy maceration. In this video, Emmanuel explained the process for making orange wines like Les Choix. The tannins that are pulled from the skins and stalks make the wine feel vaguely like sandpaper in the mouth, which of course sounds odd, but with a rabbit pate, it is absolutely delicious.