They are three who courageously work this land of shale so unique to the Côte Vermeille, south of Collioure, with its terraced crops on the slopes of the Alberes, the last up-thrust of the Pyrénées before they plunge into the sea – where machine harvesting is forbidden – all is done and picked by hand.
Imagine 8 hectares in 14 parcels – at 300 meters above the blue of the sea. A small production of 7000 bottles with a blend of black grenache and syrah without the use of enzymes or yeast. Then an aging process of 12 months. At the end, velvety tannins, a powerful attack in the mouth with notes of liquorish and spices and a beautiful finish.
Enormous effort rewarded with a wine both generous and complex.
A Banuyls of the type « Rimage » is also produced at the property.
AOC Corbières « Boutenac »
Martine and Christophe took over this family property and converted it to organic production. But beyond that aspect, what seduces me is the reward of much work that highlights, in the wine, the unique characteristics of the soil. Agreeably typical of the région, powerful, well structured with a lovely finish this blend of Carignan from 80 year-old-vines and grenache noir is aged of 12 months.
The result is a wine of ripe tannins highlighting the aromas of …….. typical of the Boutenac région, with a long aftertaste.
An élégant wine ! a real reference in the Corbieres and a strong potential for aging make tis one of my favourites.
The wine is also now sold in magnums.
AOC Côtes du Roussillon Village
A young couple works this vineyard composed mainly of young vines planted in an area of arid shale. Grenache noir, Carignan and syrah « suffer » and enrich themselves from the ebb and flow of the changing climate. In these wines we see simplicity and clarity. What’s important is the work in th wine cellar that transcends the fruit itself. Age in concrete tanks for 9-11 months to conserve its aromatic personnality, the cripness of the fruit. An honest wine that marries well with a simple, tasty meal. All is young but also refined.
AOC Côtes du Roussillon Villages Red
A young woman makes this delicious wine marked by its delicacy and generosity. From 50-year-old Carignan vines, 30 year-old grenache and 20- year-old syrah comes its richness and balance. The subtlety of its finish in no way diminishes its power in the mouth.
Aged for 18 months in 225 liter barrels, this is a magnificently drinkable wine with fully respects the traditions of the great wines of this part of the Roussillon.
Drinkable now and over the next 3-4 years.
Marriage of wine and food, personally I hink it goes perfectly with agrill with herbs but also with read méat including lamb and with fowl.
A wine to talk about and which we will talk about.
AOC Faugères Red
I particularly like this type of Faugeres which recalls the history of three generations succeeding each other to produce, today, a wine that totally accords with my taste.
The oldest vines – some as old as 100 years — are harvested by hand for this wine. A blend of syrah, grenache, mourvedre and carignan. Picked and selected by hand. Destemming, pressing and vinification separately for 30 days then assembled for 12 months in oak barrels of 225 to 400 litres.
Deep red, nose lightly spiced and grilled. A powerful structure bringing forth notes of black fruits and minerals. Full bodied, suave and complex at the same time, a long spicy finish and lightly smoky.
A vineyard being converted to organic production.
This is clearly a passionate wine maker. A tiny property worked according to the cycles of the moon, fed naturally on a diet of snakegrass, nettles, ferns and other local plants. All comes together in a wine that distinguishes itself after 9-12 months of aging in the Fitou tradition by its flowery nose, a real softness in the mouth and a lovely balance. Best enjoyed after 2-3 years.
AOC La Clape Red
The massif of La Clape is an enchanting place, a natural setting where one walks with delight. It’s a succession of small, wild valleys covered with pines, dominated by rocky outcroppings overlooking the Mediterranean coast.
It’s at the heart of this exceptional area, completely protected that I discovered a winemaker impregnated with his environment taking his time, carefully selecting vines for hand picking at maturity.
In such a manner and in the philosophy of the wine maker, the vines are, obviously, organic. All the wines are superb – red and white.
Two red wines seduced me, two approaches to wine making – 18 months in barrels for one and 36 (!) months for the other, of which 24 months in 500 litre oak barrels.
One admires immediately the richness, the depth of these 2 wines which both benefit from a remarkable effort in the cellar.
The oldest varieties for one, a blend of syrah, grenache, nourvedre and carignan for the other.
The wine region of La Clape will be an AOC as from 2015.
AOC La Clape White and Wine of the Pays l’Oc White
If Christophe succeeded wonderously with his reds, his whites are also remarkable; there, too, the work of aging is crucial – a year on the lees.
Here we find the tradition of whites from the massif of La Clape in his white in which white grenache and bourboulenc are combined. A pleasant aroma with notes of fennel, a mouth relaxed but big at the same time where we find notes of aromatic scrub and a long and faithful finish
His wine of the Pays d’Oc is itself a marvellous creation. Chardonnay and viognier profit from 36 months in barrels on the lees.
A complex nose mixing alcohol and pear, cherry and eau de vie, stewed fruit, orange peel, bees wax. A powerful mouth, fresh and notes of cardamom and anis, a long finish, lively and “nearly lightly filled”.
Not wise to serve it too cool – 12 degrees is perfect and even at ambient temperature in winter.
AOC Limoux White
Only white wines – but what whites!
Three single varietal wines – chardonnay, chinan and a mauzac that’s truly unique – the only one in the world to be aged in oak barrels.
And finally a marvellous blend of the three varietals, Trilogy – the sum is greater than its parts. A blend of wines that must be tried.
The work of craftsmen from the vines carefully tended and a meticulous vinification with aging on the lees. The pressing takes place within 2 hours of harvesting.
Wines for connoisseurs. A flowery nose, richness in the mouth, full bodied and a lovely finish. The wine makers have enhanced the traditional varieties of the region.
A very small appellation – a promising future for this wine still relatively unknown – complex and best aged to appreciate its full capacity. Grapes picked at the peak of ripeness, carefully sorted, long alcoholic fermentation with repeated « pigeages » to refine the complexity of the wine. Aged 12-15 months in oak barrels of which 30% are new where the malolactic fermentation takes place.
Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet franc are assembled to obtain a purple robe and a complex nose with notes of fruit and peanuts giving it a power and smoothness in the mouth with obvious but fine tannins and a long finish. To discover – a typical and authentic product of the appellation.
AOC Minervois Red
Here is a very seductive Minervois coming from an old family vineyard where the skills are transmitted from father to son.
Different because almost totally from a base of syrah from vines that are more than 60 years old, aged for a year in stainless steel and then 6 months in oak barrels.
Lovely smooth tannins and very well balanced. Intense ruby red colour, nose powerful and warm, an attack in the mouth both round and with notes of vanilla evolving into a wine concentrated in which the melting tannins have notes of liquorice and an elegant woodiness.
AOC St Chinian
Even though this cuvée is called « Grand Vin » we need to speak of a wine that is very round, that is found only on the great tables of France and which I am pleased to present since it is rare and highly sought after. A blend of syrah, mourvèdre, grenache and carignan, naturally fermented in oak barrels and aged on its own « lie » stirred repeatedly in the barrels.
In the end an exceptional wine, great richness in its nose – in the mouth round and velvety but fresh and with a linguid finish.
AOC Terrasses du Larzac
In the northern Lnaguedoc, this appellation is worth discovering. A Parisian couple bought the property after extensive research and it was love at first sight. And their wines, too, are to love ! The entire vineyard has been converted to organic production.
At 400m of altitude woth rocky, limstone soil and lots of winf ! A blend of grenache, syrah and cinsault which profits from 24 months in stainless steel and then in oak using local yeasts and very little sulfite.
In short, organic ! in the end, a wine silky with a fresh attack and a lovely persistant aroma-notes of blackberries, liquorish and bay.
IGP Cevennes White
Emmanuelle doesn’t content herself in making “starred” red wines. She also produces a white from vermentino and viognier which is a delight of freshness.
Its colour, nearly transparent, pulls you in, but the expressive nose very precise with citrus as well as flowers of acacia and almand trees leds us to imagine the pleasure in the mouth.
Freshness, minerality – nearly ethereal.
A white wine that conquered me and which is easy to drink.. and hard not to drink!
(IGP : Indication Géographique Protégée)
IGP Duché d’Uzès – Cévennes Red
Emmanuelle is in love with her vines and sometimes spends the night with them, her head in the stars — so naturally she has given her wines the names of stars.
She’s the rising star of the region!
A vineyard ideally situated at 300 meters of altitude, a nearly perfect care of the vines and an equally important skill in the cellar makes these wines remarkable for their equilibrium and intense aroma.
Syrah and grenache picked by hand parcel by parcel, remontage, pigeage and aging for 12 months in oak barrels result in a wine marked by a powerful nose, a mouth dense and deep in harmonious tannins, a surprising freshness and persistence. A star!
Wine of Cotes Catalanes White
Again the same young woman winemaker – how can we not choose this excellent white wine from the region of Cotes Catalanes: white grenache and maccabeu with a lovely freshness and purity of fruit.
An expressive profile, intense with fine touches of citrus, fennel and bitter fruit in its finish which makes a first rate wine.
Best drunk cool but not cold within 2 to 3 years.