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.
Full bottle 1,331 g. Unfiltered, unfined, no acidification, no chaptalisation. Spontaneous fermentation – Seb Danjou says, ‘We have always done spontaneous, my grandfather always did it. For me it is essential’. Since 2018 there is now a little bit of Mourvèdre (planted in 2007, next to La Truffière). The same vineyard as La Truffière blanc – mostly Grenache and Carignan. Old vines, around 90 years old. Élevage is in big foudre and the Mourvèdre in 500-litre barrels. Always 100% whole-bunch because they always have very ripe stalks (last time they destemmed was 2015). ‘We are not ayatollahs of whole bunch. It is not a dogma. I think it gives something to the wine, of course, but if the stems are not ripe, we will destem. We have to be careful.’ Colour is darker than 2018 but maceration is the same – between 15 and 25 days’ maceration, for the full length of the fermentation and then they press to barrel. No pigeage, no remontage (unless it’s a very cold year), no bâtonnage. Every day they draw a bucket of about 10 litres of juice off and pour it over the cap just to keep the cap wet and prevent oxidation. Infusion rather than maceration.
There is a wild herb that grew in the Zimbabwean bush which we called ‘black jack’. Its leaves, crushed, gave out a pungent, sweet, bitter smell that was something of a mix of Thai basil, lovage, liquorice, fennel and coriander (cilantro). The smell of this wine reminds me of black jack, reminds me of crashing through the bush in summer heat, swatting mosquitoes and heading for that bald granite kopje. But the flint-flecked cranberry fruit, tart-sherbet-edged but sweetly ripe with that aciculate intensity that only rugged vines can bring, fills every corner of the palate and the bitter herbs become just a fine framework. I have a hard time getting my head around the fact that a Roussillon red can have the finesse of Vosne-Romanée. This wine has purity; it is, quite simply, diaphanous in texture. It is unique. It is has a beautiful soul. (TC) 13.5%
90 years Carignan on blackschistous marl. Aged for 20 months in barrels. Outstanding wine.
JanicsRobinson.com 18/20: "This tastes of wild strawberries and forest mushrooms, caraway and fennel seeds. There is a daub of farmyard, but only enough to bring tang and animal warmth. White pepper woven into the delicate sweetness of the fruit. Not attention-seeking, but if you don’t give this wine your whole attention, you’ve lost something priceless. This is a Carignan in a million. (TC)"
Rosemary George (2016 Vintage) "Pure Carignan. The vines are over ninety years old, grown on black schist and the wine is aged for 20 months in old oak barrels. Quite a deep colour. An initial natural edge on both the nose and palate, which disappears with air. Fresh red fruit on the nose and on the palate, it is quite tannic and structured, with an initial dryness. However, the wine evolves in the glass and the ripe fruit comes to the fore, with an elegant finish. 12.5°. One of those wines that keeps you guessing.
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. Syrah from the Roussillon coming in at 11.5% abv. ANOTHER extraordinary wine. Don't miss.
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, you’re 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."
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% 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.
100% Grenache from 120+ 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.
Pretty aromas of yellow fruits such as peaches, citrus & pineapple with hints of linden and chamomile. The palate is lively, fruity and well-balanced, with good length. 10% oak gives a lightly toasted bread finish.
Entirely handpicked in the morning, cooled and directly pressed and fermented separately in stainless steel. Pinot Noir macerated briefly to give light salmon color.Second fermentation in bottle for 18 months in temperature controlled cellars.
Glorious old vine Mourvedre from a top Saint Chinian producer. Mourvedre cannot be used 100% and be called Saint Chinian, so this is a Vin de France.Luxurious and long, vibrant fruit, great balance and ripeness. Amazing value
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.
Super-tangy, bracing nose chock-full of character. This producer's unusually good still Mauzac helps to interpret the fizz and this wine really benefits from not being sweetened up the way so many Blanquettes de Limoux are. Very substantial undertow. Tastes like a mix of confit lemons and metal polish - in a good way! Firm and long. Real grip on the palate. A really interesting sparkling wine with its own unique character. GV
Natural wine from Simon Coulshaw: no cultured yeast, enzymes, chemical tannins or fining product. 90% old-vine Cinsault, 10% Syrah.
I was instructed to chill this a bit before tasting. It was in the fridge for about 25 minutes and then left out for 10 minutes before tasting. Fresh red-berried nose. Hurrah! Here is another Languedoc producer who 'gets' Cinsault. Perky, bright, raspberries and with that lovely telltale Cinsault salty-sweet tang that always reminds me of the best prosciutto or jamon. A bit of white pepper and ground cumin tangled into feather-light sinews of tannin. This is absolutely YUM. Tapas/aperitivo wine, without a doubt. I could drink this all summer long. GV (TC)
Simon Coulshaw makes natural wines: no cultured yeast, enzymes, chemical tannins or fining product and farming with respect to the environment, although the domaine isn't certified organic. 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Carignan.
Dark cherries and a sharp flash of cobbler's glue on the nose. Rich layers of mulberries and prune, coffee syrup, clove and burnt sugar, mushrooms and leaf mulch. You could not accuse this of simplicity, although it has more depth than length. A little brooding, a little heat, and slow to build. The tannins seem to be more spice than texture, vibrating more than gripping. If there is grip, it's in the orange pith and peel-oil on the finish. Intriguing wine... You could really climb into this. (TC) 16.5/20 jancisrobinson.com
Another cracking vintage of this fresh and aromatic - easy drinking - white from the Languedoc-Roussillon with delicate fruit and a bright finish. The Vermentino is concentrated and characterful with delicate aromatics.
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.. Highy recommended.
A blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre with a light touch of oak from ageing in older barriques. The Mourvedre is noticeable in the aroma of leather.Full mouth, velvety soft, aromatic purity of fruit, flowers and wood.
Full bottle 1,166 g. Old vines, hand-picked.
"Strikingly unusual nose – I can smell guava jam (something I haven’t smelt in 27 years) and tamarillo, rose hips and wood polish, and a tiny, intense floral note that makes me think of walking in the garden on a hot summer night. Wonderful freshness. It has the cool rustle of walking through russet leaves in autumn woodland. A touch of tamarind paste, white pepper, za’atar, baharat. I love the sense of metal sculpture I get in this wine – it’s not that I am literally tasting iron or rust or copper or pewter, but when I taste this wine, it’s like the wine version of a Rochelle Ford metal sculpture. It carries in its molecules the twist and sinews of the old vine trunks, the battering and weathering of nature and time, the glow of a thousand sunsets, edges and angles, sheen and rust, rain and dust". VGV (TC) jancisrobinson.com
Serious quality. Beautiful wine. Named after the Bruce Springteen song "Promised Land". A wild-ferment wine made from Macabeu, Grenache gris and Carignan blanc. Fermented and aged on lees in barrels for 9 months. It has a complex nose of river stones, quince and buttered toast. The palate combines flavours of pears and citrus with a long, spicy finish. Just brilliant. Top marks.
Glorious old vine Mourvedre from a top Saint Chinian producer. Mourvedre cannot be used 100% and be called Saint Chinian, so thi s is a Vin de France.Luxurious and long, vibrant fruit, great balance and ripeness. Amazing value
Lionel Comelade produces this stunning wine from ancient vine Macabeu and Grenache Gris grown on amazing black and white schist soil vineyards between Estagel and Latour de France in the Roussillon. Both white grapes were harvested later in the season in 1988 with high sugar levels. The grapes were partially fermented in concrete vats and then neutral brandy was added to stop fermentation and keep natural sweetness in the wine. Then the wine was passed to second use oak barrels and left in the cellar for 32 years before bottling (to order). No ‘topping up’ of the barrels occurred in the 32 years. The wine is tremendous, possibly surpassing the 1987. It is ‘ambre’ in colour. A bright, wild nose with orange rind, orange oil and warm spices. The pallet is thrilling with great complexity and depth with thrilling, wild acidity which really charms. Astonishing and quite unique. The wine is one of the best value fortified wines in the world. 32 years of age, so interesting and delicious. A steal at this price.
Cinsault is one of Languedoc’s ancient grape varieties, on the verge of extinction and which, wrongly, has been much maligned. When grown in a quality vineyard site and deftly crafted in the winery, it produces very compelling, refined red wines. This is a crisp, fresh, silky wine, underscored by very fine tannins.
The medium-ruby colored IGP Pays D'Oc Les Zazous (100% Pinot Noir) offers a pretty, elegant style as well as attractive notes of dried cherries, dusty soil and spice. It's charming, has no hard edges and a clean finish, all of which make it ideal for drinking over the coming couple of years.