We're finishing what we started in the previous Wine Club and moving into the southern regions of France and northern Spain. In France, we have wines featured from the Languedoc and Roussillon, most commonly referred in tandem as Languedoc-Roussillon, as well as a singular wine from Catalunya. These regions span from central, southern France down about the northernmost quarter of the Spanish coast along the Balearic Sea. All these wines have one thing in common: Mediterranean influence, and currently drought.
Grenache Noir (Almost Sparkling Rose)
Pinell de Brai, Catalunya, Spain
"...Appropriately named Sojorn, produced under the strange conditions of the 2022 harvest in Southern Catalunya. As many of you surely know, Catalunya is in the midst of an historic drought, which aside from screwing everyone's yields, has also made life hard for yeasts. Practically everyone in the region suffered from stalled fermentations last Fall. For his part, Josep opted to bottle part of his red grenache with a few grams of sugar in pursuit of a "pet-NOT." A genre verging on banal these days, a good pet-not (also known as a "tranquil" in the local parlance) is no simple matter. I love the way that Sojorn recalls the heady aromatics of must in fermentation. Nearly all of the sugar is gone, set in relief by a gentle volatile acidity and a barely perceptible bubble. It's a singular bottle of wine that is unlikely to be produced again. Long live the pet-not!" - the importer
Don't be surprised if this wine isn't sparkling. Don't be surprised if it is. If it feels more like a light red to you, then lean in. If you taste some sugar, relish in it! This will is unpredictable and fun and will certainly inspire some strong opinions,
Terret Gris (White-ish/Orange-ish)
Nizas, Languedoc, France
"28 years old Edouard Adam cares greatly for his vineyards’ ecosystem, paying special attention to the natural flora and fauna, allowing them to thrive and grow freely throughout the vines. With such a holistic approach, there are no chemicals used in the gardening, and grapes remain with their stems through the vinification to give a full picture of his work. He says: “je me fais chier à faire pousser des raisin sur des grappes, c’est pas pour égrapper,” which politely translates to: “I don’t grow grapes on the vines just to have them be destemmed.
The name Mada is a palindrome of his last name, Adam, and he is still laughing at how clever he thinks he is. Adam dreams of owning more land to produce more wine, but, in the meantime, has settled for schmoozin’ with the local organic grape farmers — although, he will insist on destemming the purchased fruit" - Diversey Wine
Merlot (Chilled Red)
Rivesalts, Languedoc, France
"Mataburro Idoine 2022 is mainly Merlot from vines that are 30 – 40 years old which were planted by Laurent’s father. This is supplemented by a small amount of Grenache.
Vinified initially in two fibreglass tanks, the whole bunches had five days maceration. This short period of maceration ensures that not too much tannin and other harsh polyphenols are extracted leaving a surprisingly fresh and lively wine, showing that Merlot is capable of presenting many faces if treated properly.
One tank had a little pigeage (meaning they pressed down the grapes skins into the juice during fermentation) and the other none to keep the floral aromas from the semi-carbonic maceration. The two tanks were mixed after pressing and aged in stainless steel tank. This is a very clever way of dealing with Merlot.
They found the name ‘Idoine’ in a book Laurent’s uncle had written. It means ‘the good stuff’.
Rouge La Luna 2022
90% Grenache / 10% Carignan (Chilled Red)
Banyuls-Sur-Mer, Roussillon, France
In a past life, Bruno Duchêne was a wild mushroom distributor in his native Loire valley. He was so successful as a wild mushroom salesman that he owned a car phone in the 80's. He retired in his early 40's to Banyuls but got bored and started making wine. He lives on his boat Odin most of the year and makes wine in the small coastal town of Banyuls. He produces [mostly] dry reds from some of France's hardest to work vineyards. Bruno owns four hectares spread over four parcels, all planted on schist but with enough exposition and micro-climate variations to keep things interesting. Banyuls and the neighboring Collioure's historic vineyards, planted at low density on ancient terraces, are notorious for being extremely low yielding and near-impossible to work mechanically, subsequently leading to an ever-increasing abandonment of these legendary sites.
Bruno principally produces three red wines: "La Luna", "La Pascole" and "L'Anodine". All three are made with co-planted Grenache Noir/Gris/Blanc with a splash of Carignan. "La Luna" comes from parcels where the grass grows free.