Cotes Catalanes, France
History and Origins
It all started back in 1912, when Fernand Vaquer bought the estate. Fernand was a well-known rugby player who won five French championship titles with USA Perpignan –known as “the Marshal”. From 1947 onwards, he and his son replanted the vineyard. The Carignan grapes currently used in the “Expression” cuvee, still come from those vines.
Philosophy and Methods
Frederique is an oenologist who hails from Burgundy. Frederique strives to produce wines with finesse, elegance, fruit and structure, wines that reflect not only their unique terroir, but also her true self. The clay-rich soil here confers a crisp freshness to the wine, which allows for remarkable balance. Out in the vineyard, she has chosen to employ what she calls “reasonable” farming methods, the most natural possible: this places the emphasis on tilling, working the soil and allowing the grape varieties to express themselves. As far as possible the naturally-occurring yeasts found on the grapes at harvest are used to initiate alcoholic fermentation. Similarly, as fermentation takes place in non-descaled cement vats, the lactic acid bacteria naturally present in the winery undertake the secondary “malolactic” fermentation; “I think the cement vats retain a “memory imprint” of the previous year’s wine.”
Intention and Production
Ageing depends on the vintage; one or two wines may be barrelled but this is only to develop the aromatic qualities of the wine and certainly not to “oak” it. The greater part of the ageing process takes place in the bottle, safely tucked away in the cellar.