2016 Clos des Fees ‘les Sorcieres’ GRENACHE BLANC BLEND Cotes du Roussillon
Clos des Fées ("Clos": a small parcel of vines surrounded by walls. "Fée": a mythical being, in general a woman, with magical powers) is relatively new in the wine world, beginning in 1998, when Herve and Claudine settled in Vingrau, on the high cool slopes of the northern edge of Roussillon. Herve recognised the quality potential of the cool high sites of these magnificent limestone based vineyards sitting well above the valley floors where most producers work in easier and more fertile soils. Buying up old and often abandoned vineyards from these high slopes, Herve has gradually amassed dozens of tiny plots, of which many are magnificent mature vineyards spread throughout these cooler slopes. With a large team of vineyard workers, they work approximately only 2 hectares of vines each throughout the year, producing tiny yields of perfectly ripe fruit which also retain excellent freshness and acidity. Vinifying gently and using minimal SO2 during the winemaking process the resulting wines show remarkable finesse and freshness behind perfectly ripe fruit that shows its origins from these fresh limestone based soils. The freshness and polish he achieves in these immacualte wines is testament not only to his wine-making skills but also his knowledge of the great wines of the world having previously worked as a sommelier in Paris and running his own restaurant.
'les Sorcieres' is made from a blend of 40% Grenache blanc (planted in 1945), 30% Vermentino 20% Roussanne and 10% Macabeu. Picked to retain freshness with balanced acidity and aged on lees to give depth and texture, the wine is bright and vibrant, but the complex blend of the Roussillon grape allied with the Mediterannean climate makes it almost saline on the back palate. It is very interesting to compare the first and second wines in this tasting, which both share the same winemaking process but come from two different terroirs of South West France, which results in very different aromatics.