100% Carignan Gris that was raised in older barrels. It offers that classic cold steel-like character I always find in Carignan Gris, as well as plenty of citrus blossom, bright apple fruit - steely and penetrating. A real one-off. Utterly beautiful wine.
100% Grenache from 130+ year old vines. Complex floral aromas. On the palate the fruits, such as raspberry and morello cherry, are crunchy and fresh. There is also a very strong stony/mineral feeling. The finish is long and pure. A vibrant wine.
Energy is a word used a lot by the finest Roussillon growers. We don't think there has been a finer example than this extraordinary wine from the freres Danjou. The 2020 is more 'Cote-Rotie' than the 'Crozes like' 2018. A thrilling wine.
Natural, biodynamic and vegan. Grenache, Carignan and now (for the first time) Mourvedre from 80 year old vines, Made without filtering or fining. Pale but gorgeous mid red colour. At first on the nose, you are like "What even is that?". Whatever it is, you know that you like it. Elegant, subtle fruit is intermixed with gentle herb, earth and savoury charachters. Deep and wonderful. On the palate the wine is elegant and deep again, but not heavy in the slightest. Ruffled fruit and savoury notes with minerality and real finesse. These wines are like no other from the Roussillon. Outstanding.
This is the magnum.
Topsoil of schistose marls (less than 40 cm) resting on deep schist rock that are planted to ancient vines of Grenache Noir and Lladoner Pelut for the most part with a a small parcel of Carignan.
The yield hardly exceeds 20 hl/ha, vines planted at 1.50 m square. The grapes are partly de-stemmed, followed by maceration for a fortnight with light daily pumping over. Aged in old casks of 20 HL.
A seamless, gorgeous Grenache-led beauty. An extraordinary dry red Maury that has a texture from heaven, wonderful depth and with a delightful lightness of touch. Utterly delicious.
100% Carignan from 80 year old vines. Complex floral aromas. On the palate the fruits, such as raspberry and morello cherry, are crunchy and fresh. There is also a very strong stony/mineral feeling. The finish is long and pure. A vibrant wine.
This Roboul cuvée exudes lifted fruit aromas in abundance with blackberries, blueberries, pomegranates and also gentle garrigue notes. On the palate it is velvety with curious, beautiful interest. There is a perfect balance between alcohol and acidity and it ends with a striking freshness. It's a marvelous wee wine.
Full bottle 1,341 g. Single vineyard. 60% Mourvèdre (20 years old), 40% Grenache (30 years old) on pudding stone, clay, sand and limestone tuffeau. Hand-picked; whole-bunch, spontaneous fermentation; minimal cap work; very gently pressed. Fermented separately because the Mourvèdre ripens so much later than the Grenache. 12 months in old oak barrels of 600, 500 and 400 litres.
"If Id not known what this wine was, and put it to my nose, my first guess would be Pinot Noir, Tasmania. Rosehips. Nectarine skin. Hibiscus tea. Morels. Then, after tasting it, Id change my mind. Id wonder if this was Cinsault, one of Alex Milners wraith-like beauties, perhaps: the bruised rose petals, the jasmine tea, the taste of prickly pears and dust and pungent-peppery-green at the back of my throat. Then I smell garrigue - cistus, broom heather, wild thyme, the smell of the wind blowing through holm oaks and twisted pines and I am in the south of France. This is the fey child of Roussillon. This is a wine that dances in the thin places". Very Good Value. Tamlyn Currin on jancisrobinson.com
Domaine Alain Michelot Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les Saint-Georges is a perfumed and muscular red wine that epitomizes the grandeur and finesse of the Nuits-Saint-Georges appellation in Burgundy, France. This Premier Cru vineyard is considered the crown jewel of Nuits-Saint-Georges, producing wines with rich fruits, intense minerality, and superb depth. The Domaine Alain Michelot 2016 vintage shows exceptional complexity and structure, layered with aromas of dark cherry, blackberry, earthy spices, and fresh herbs. On the palate, the wine is bold and full-bodied, with firm tannins and vibrant acidity that promise an ageing potential of up to 20 years. It is an outstanding wine that showcases the mastery of winemaking at Domaine Alain Michelot.
This Syrah blend with soft black fruits and spice has been shaped by the sunbaked rocky soils of the unmistakable and very definate Faugeres terroir. A herbal, spicy bouquet is followed by youthful red cherries and supple mineral character derived from the schist rich soils. One of our greatest value wines.
This is an astonishing and almost perfect expression of Gewurztraminer; floral, smoky and spicy, then terrific concentration and balance and length, with some juicy sweetness detectable and adding to the enjoyment of the whole. Very, very fine.
The sedimentary limestone geology, mostly located on the Vosges mountains foothills in Alsace, has always been the prime choice for producing long lived and structured Gewurztraminer wines. The presence of clay, more or less important, brings a cooler element in the soil, slowing down the ripeness process and preserving better acidity. The presence of limestone influences the aromatic profile and texture of the wine. They become more spicy, less floral, with a recognisable tighter tannic structure so crucial for the balance of the wine. Gewurztraminer, more than any other in Alsace, requires an accomplished skin ripeness. Failing so can end up in an over aromatic, not complex and bitter wine. The quality of the terroir will help greatly, but so does harvesting later! Since the acidity is naturally low, harvesting later isnt affecting the wine as much as other grapes that would suffer more from acidity loss. All the grapes going into this wine are sourced from the estate's top single vineyards or Grands Crus, where they use the 'younger' vines.
Pale yellow colour. The nose shows a restraint, almost mineral, smoky aromatic expression, so typical from a limestone soil. It eventually opens up and reveals ripe citrus, exotic fruits in a very elegant way. The palate shows a surprising freshness and acidity, and finishes with a balanced delicate sweetness. Clearly this wine will benefit from further ageing in order to allow it to express its full potential.
100% old vine Carignan that was bred all in concrete tanks. Notes of leather, black cherries, plums and savoury herbs all emerge from this medium-bodied, fresh, lively wine. This is seamless and gorgeous stuff from Daniel Laffite.
Lovely aromatics on the nose with notes of walnuts and hazelnuts, bruised apples, meadow flowers and hay. The palate is full-bodied and a bit buttery with pleasant acidity and minerality.
Jean-Michel Petit and his wife set up Domaine de la Renardiere in 1992. The 7.5 hectares domaine is within Arbois-Pupillin and has been farmed with organic and biodynamic principals since its inception. It gained organic status in 2012.
Their Savagnin Les Terrasses comes from grey/blue marl terroir and is made in a non-oxidative style. The wine is aged for 12 months in barrel with no racking and beautifully expresses this delicious, indigenous variety.
The debut vintage in 'bottle' for Chemin de Moscou 'Reflet'. The previous few years have only been available as a special release magnum. Grenache-led with Syrah follwoing along in a fine style. The wine is deep, smoooth and beautifully sweet-fruited, but like its opposite, the classic Chemin de Moscou, the wines shows tremendous focus of line and length. The wine impresses very much now, but due to the controlled focus at its heart, it shall live a long time in the bottle.
Deep purple, almost opaque in colour with an expressive nose of black fruits, pepper, cinnamon, spice and violets. A seductive palate of dark hedgerow fruits, very open and welcoming with an explosion of fruit and spice. Mineral undertones.
This is the magnum size.
A very special wine. Winemaker Vincent comes from the Loire Valley so knows about Chenin from there and time making wine in South Africa. Chenin originated in the Languedoc so bringing it back is exciting. The wine is fermented in egg shaped concrete fermenting tanks, which allows better movement of liquid during and after fermentation than in stainless steel. Some barrel ageing too for texture. Well balanced with a purity of fruit enhanced by its roundness and length.. Highly recommended.
Figure Libre Freestyle is the name given to an ambitious range of wines designed to shake up conventions and break new ground for expressing the inherent style of Languedoc and Roussillon.
Ruby red with some purple highlights. Vibrant, expressive nose of red and black fruits, pepper, spice and "garrigue."
Made from a majority of Grenache, this most impressive wine is powerful and truly mouth watering. Red fruit notes with a long palate and lingering mature tannins.
An absolute must for Rhone wine experts, from a true flagship wine grower.
Star Grand Cru village of the Cotes des Blancs. Green apple fresh with plenty of golden toasty nutty richness.
Every Champagne trade insider knows that many posh Luxury Cuvee Champagnes buy grapes or wine from this Grand Cru village co-operative. So if you MUST drink a Champagne that sponsors a yacht race or polo match go ahead and spend £100+. Or buy a few of these! Tastes like? Tastes like the archetype of Grand Cru Cotes des Blancs (the chalky downs of Champagne) Chardonnay.
Prélude is the entry-level Montagny, sourced from the vineyards of Le May (Saint-Vallerin) and Les Coères (Montagny). It was raised for 10 months, in a combination of tank (60%) and older barrels (40%). In contrast to the Mon Blanc, the villages cuvée displays more volume, yet it remains braced by a consistent thread of acidity.
A feeling of nervy tension as well as a finely honed citrus flavour contribute weight to the solid skeleton - structure supports richness. Its delicious, charming value, and has been described by Jasper Morris as "An exemplary source of characterful Montagny".
Wonderful new cuvee from the brilliant Daniel and Cathy Laffite based in Tautavel. These guys have some of the most beautiful vineyards we have ever seen, and they are worked with utmost care and respect in an organic way. Glorious Grenache and Carignan deliver so much pleasure with beautiful fruit, great minerality and supple, savoury tannins. DELICIOUS.
Some of our favorite Southern Rhônes come from the Rasteau estate of Gilles Ferran, and they always deliver classic Provencal character and concentrated, pleasure-driven personalities. Gilles makes several Côtes du Rhônes (Les Antimagnes, Les Sablieres), a single Roaix (the Syrah-dominated Hautes Granges), two Cairannes (La Boutine and the Le Ventabren), and two Rasteau (La Ponce and the Heritage 1924). We stock most of them at certain times of the year.
"70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Carignan. A wine that is always a bit closed when so young. Serious and earthy, but with well rounded tannins and some plump dark fruit. Wait for at least 3-4 years, will drink well in the next 8-10 years." AA, Jan 2021
An opulent Champagne with the perfect balance of freshness and generosity, from the smallest and arguably the best of the Grande Marques.
The Brut Réserve NV is a radiant pale gold colour with fine, persistent bubbles. The nose is characterised by complex pastry aromas, with an opulent combination of ripe apricot, mango, greengages, dried fruits, pistachio and almond. The palate begins with a silky-smooth sensation, developing into ripe fleshy apricot, melon and enticing plum pastry notes and delicate spice. There is perfect balance of freshness and generosity.
Mineral, taught. Fine and long. One of the unsung whites of the Roussillon. A blend of Grenache Gris, Grenache Blanc, Carignan Gris and Carignan Blanc. Outstanding wine. Ages gracefully for 10++ years. Beautiful vineyards that are beautifully worked.
Old vine Grenache grown on decomposed black schist with a limestone sub soil, that produces something amazing. Ethereal, sublime and surprisingly fesh, this achieves a level of finesse akin to fine red Burgundy. Remarkable, special, very good indeed.
JancisRobinson.com 17.5/20: "Very pale. Very spicy. And very very perfumed. There is an old red rose called Mister Lincoln. It has the deep, velvet, classic perfume of a red rose. This wine smells like Mister Lincoln dusted in cardamom. It tastes of wild cherry, white pepper, pink peppercorns, Szechuan pepper, truffle and, more than anything else, rain on warm slate. Petrichor. Complex, yet almost exquisitely simple. No noise. No posturing. In one sip, youre in this wild, beautiful vineyard, nothing but the sound of the wind through trees. Pure, transparent, yet so layered-upon-layered that you can read a thousand stories in one sip. A haiku of a wine. (TC)"
18/20 La Revue du Vins de France "There is a particular grace to this old vine Grenache grown on limestone, vinified (or rather infused) as a whole harvest, with ethereal and exciting florality, which contrasts without clashiing with a tight, deep frame, but also very delicate."
The Guimberteau family has owned the Château Franc-Baudron estate since 1923. This is a vineyard on a human scale where each generation has left its footprint on the family heritage.
Since 2010, the new generation of Château Franc-Baudron has embarked on an environmental approach by converting the entire vineyard to organic farming. The area hosts bee-hives, uses plants for treatments (horsetail, nettle and ferns) and seeds flowers to encourage biodiversity of wildlife in the vines.
They have begun implementing new winemaking techniques by using minimal inputs to express at its best the nature of the grapes and the type of soil. Most of the familys plots of Montagne Saint-Emilion are located on a clay-limestone plateau.
Bright and intense in colour with aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry and oak notes. Well balanced, powerful and velvety.
Saint Veran Domaine de la Croix Senaillet is a truly magnificent example of Maconnais Chardonnay from one of the areas leading producers. It is a fleshy wine with vibrant lemon notes, apple and floral aromas all would round a fresh mineral finish. Its posh enough for special occasions but affordable enough for Wednesday nights.
Since the early 1990s, brothers Richard and Stéphane Martin have been farming this Domaine along strict organic principals. They have grown their holdings from 6 to 25 hectares in that time with the majority in the Davaye commune. Their wines offer tremendous value from a region that is seeing prices escalate. Their attention to detail and quality is quite something to behold and really shines through in their wines.
100% Mauzac from one parcel at 300 m on a plateau of Eocene molasse (marl, sandstone, schist, pebbles). In final year of conversion to organic certification, natural cover cropping. Yields 32 hl/ha. 60-year-old vines. Hand-sorted, only best free-run juice used. Fermented and aged in seasoned oak barrels with occasional bâtonnage. RS 0 g/l, TA 3.39 g/l, pH 3.29.
It's here, the 'Coulsh-Rotie". Simon "The Coulsh'" Coulshaw's fabulous take on this iconic wine.
"I put this glass of wine to my nose, and had I not been firmly anchored to a chair, would have taken five steps back. The aroma swept me off my feet. Indescribable. Wild. One Thousand and One Nights distilled into a glass. Heady and exotic and riddled with rose petals and spice and coiled with riddles and one sniff of this is poetry and myth and folklore and kitchen table and campfire and someone's cigarette stubbed out at 3 am in lonely finality. Garrigue-spiced aromatics spiral through rock, plant, seed, flower with dazzling complexity. One moment it's rose petals, so delicate you could brush a baby's lips with it; the next it's hot tar, underground angry, rocks shifting deep in the cracks of the earth. This is a velvety, cocoa-dusted, amped-up-then-restrained, dark-horse beauty. Vertical, dark, slub-silk fruit with overtones of tamari and dark chocolate, crushed coffee beans and sweet forest-floor earth. Long and the kind of wine that coils around you slowly, sinuously, sensuously. Worth every penny. You'd pay three times this for a Rhône of this stature". (TC)
When to drink 2023 - 2035
Published on 29 Nov 2021
Date tasted 29 Nov 2021
Final assemblage: 55% Syrah, 35% Carignan & Cinsault and 15% Grenache Noir. Organically grown on schist, basalt and grés (sandstone) that yielded beautifully balanced fruit but at a very low 15 hl per ha. Manual harvest into small caskets. The Syrah and Grenache were both destemmed and vinified separately in 2yr and 5yr old 500l barrels (Saury). The Carignan was vinified on stems and in steel tank. The Cinsault was destemmed and vinified in steel tank. Natural yeast (no inoculated yeast used). Breeding took place in 2yr and 5yr old 500l barrels (Saury) for the Syrah and Grenache, and in steel tank for the Cinsault and Carignan, for a total time of 32 months with no batonnage. Bottled without fining or filtration. Bottled with a very, very low addition of sulphites (no sulphite additions at any point previously). No other additions at all.
The wine has interest, complexity and depth, it is beautifully resolved - an elegant and pretty red-fruited wine with delightful freshness and length. With this quality and with the wines age, its a very nice offer indeed. The wine was selected (with one of the very highest scores) as one of 80 Coups de Coeur by Guide Gault & Millau for the year 2020
Review below -
"The colour appears black, intense with purple reflections. The nose presents an elegant maturity with predominantly fruity cherry and blackberry punctuated by spicy notes (pepper, cinnamon). In the mouth, the cherry is very present with other stone fruits (plum, prune). The leather and cocoa prolong a very fresh and digestible finish. The texture is dense and velvety. A complex and racy wine that evolves beautifully without losing its beautiful tension".
Leclerc Briants flagship wine exemplifies the Houses style, and the blend (40% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier and 20% Chardonnay) is sourced from organic and biodynamic vineyards. The nose offers notes of candied citrus, green apple, apricot and almond, while the palate is full of freshness and salinity, with a chalky, mineral finish.
Spearheaded by Hervé Jestins inventive, inspirational winemaking, this extraordinary house has reinvented itself over the past decade. Cynics might dismiss Hervés wilder ideas (such as under-sea cellaring) as marketing ploys, but the ideas here are rooted in respect for nature.
Possibly the last Rosé to be produced at Trinités? The wine has always been produced for the home market, for the restaurants and bars, in all the major cities. But since the market for such in the last few years has dried up/been somewhat difficult, vigneron Simon Coulshaw has decided to take a break for a while. This 2020 is unlike any previous effort, mostly explained below in Tamlyn Currin's note for jancisrobinson.com. It really is truly wonderful Rosé with real minerality, precision and class. an absolute stunner.
40% Cinsault, 40% Grenache Noir, 20% Mourvèdre. Hand-picked, organically and biodynamically farmed grapes. 100% saignée ie no pressing, just bleeding from the tanks. Winemaker Simon Coulshaw points out that the distinct difference in colour between the 2019 and 2020 (the latter being distinctly lighter in colour) is purely down to the maturity of the anthocynanins in the grapes. In 2019 he left the grapes for an hour and the colour was already dark; in 2020 it spent three or four hours and still didn't throw much colour. Bone dry (less than 0.5 g RS).
"This is an outstanding rosé. If only Languedoc producers would sit up and take notice this is what you can do with rosé. Real wine. Real depth, real texture, acidity so full and exciting and ripe that it made me want to helter skelter, go boogie on Brighton Pier, lick seashells dipped in raspberry sherbet, make cherry bombs filled with lime sorbet and eat them sitting fully clothed in the sea with salt on my tongue and fingers and toes. All of which sounds like fun fun fun, but don't be deceived. This is a serious wine, framed in spice and pink-grapefruit-peel bitterness. Very Good Value (TC)".
Score 17/20 jancisrobinson.com
When to drink 2021 - 2023
Published on 29 Nov 2021
Date tasted 29 Nov 2021
Established in 1446, Etienne Parahy is known as the first owner of the vineyards and the estate 'Puig Parahy'. In those near 600 years, the estate has passed through 19 generations to current owner and vigneron Georges Puig (the first son of each new generation is named 'Georges'). Nestled in Les Aspres region, a wonderful mixed-soil and fresh terroir of the Roussillon which is found between Mt. Canigou and the Mediterranean sea. The estate has a rich history producing outstanding rancio sweet wines that develop and live for decades, sometimes even centuries. Bottles from the 1800s are still available today. The estate was replanted in 1878 after phylloxera wiped out all of the vineyards. Many of these vines are still producing wonderful old vine fruit of outrageous quality that is carefully and naturally handled to produce a great range of dry table wines and VdNs of many styles.
This is special wine. Ancient vines of Carignan, Grenache and Mourvedre and native, wild yeasts from this historic Roussillon estate have produced this pale, bright and gorgeous mid-red coloured wine - looking exactly like a current hipster favourite. The nose is alive with prickly bright fruits intermixed with beautiful secondary and tertiary aromas of old books, furniture and childhood memories of churches and other magnificent and curious things of wonder. The palate is equally as interesting and as equally sparkly bright and refreshing. But so rewarding, resolved and complex. An utter marvel from this unsung fresh terroir in the magnificent Roussillon.
Grown on rocky schist soils in the commune of Estagel. West to north-west exposure. The vineyard is called 'Poux Baly'. A beautiful, bright blend of Vermentino 38%, Grenache Gris 34% and Maccabeu 28% that is utterly delicious and versatile. Medium weight with a fine, fresh length.
Harvested at night into small crates and made very naturally and fermented in steel vats, with only one small addition of sulphites before bottling. Malolactic fermentation is blocked to keep the bright freshness.