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Clos du Rouge Gorge Blanc 2015

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A oxidative style of wine from one of the up and comers of the Roussillon region near the Spanish boarder in France. The predominately Macabeo white wine is medium bodied with a lightly brine-like minerality to it. Stone fruits and pear are in abundance with plenty of underlying savoury tones making this wine more complex and interesting. For greater enjoyment, give it a few years in bottle to fill out a bit more. - Chris L

Importer Note:

Primarily Macabeo from 80 year-old vines, on gneiss facing north and east, aged without bâtonnage in used 500-litre barriquesThe wine shows ethereal aromas of stone, citrus peel, mint, pear and clove. The palate is all saline minerals with hints of citrus and pear, with an almost bitter finish of citrus and saline acids. Bracing and delicious now, best to wait 3 to 5 years for this beautiful wine of terroir to open. A bottle of the 2014 opened last week after a superb 2000 Chave Hermitage Blanc showed just how good this wine is, though it was younger we didn't skip a beat. 

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Importer Note:

Since 2002, Cyril Fhal has been making rare and uniquely delicious wines from his magical high-altitude vineyards above Latour-du-France in the Roussillon. Choosing mostly north-facing slopes with old vines and practicing meticulous organic/biodynamic farming, Cyril produces wines that are never over- extracted or heavy although they are always dense, complex and very expressive of their terroirs. (Although Cyril does not practice carbonic maceration, I am always reminded of the wines of Domaine de L’Anglore in their purity and expression of fruit.) 

 Cyril Fhal came to the Roussillon from the Loire Valley and found small parcels of north-facing hillside vineyards on gneiss, near the village of Latour-de-France, about 20 miles north-west of Perpignan, with the soil, exposure and altitude of the vines giving freshness and minerality to the wines. The vines have been tended by biodynamic farming from the start, with light plowing by hand, horse or rototiller. In many ways Cyril's commitment to farming is similar to the legendary Thierry Allemand of Cornas and the cornerstone to the quality of his wine.

Natural composts and biodynamic treatments have revitalized the soil, and plants and flowers among the vines bring beneficial insects and a diverse fauna - the mountainside vineyards have a magical quality and seem to blend in with the surrounding sparse vegetation.

The domaine consists of 6 hectares of hillsides, planted mainly with carignan (3 ha), as well as grenache and cinsault for reds, and maccabeu for whites.These are very typical grapes of Roussillon, however many vineyards in the area were scrubbed up and replanted with Syrah during the seventies and eighties. Indeed, in 1977, the decree of the Côtes-du-Roussillon Villages AC requires a minimum of 30 % of syrah and/or mourvèdre. A fervent defender of the autochtonous grapes, giving character and typicity to the wines, Cyril Fhal prefers the mention "Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes", rather than comply with this decree which holds no attraction for him. Most of Cyril's vines are between 50 and 100 years old. A rocky soil based upon gneiss, at an altitude that averages from 200 to 250 metres, and an exposition to the North are a few of the conditions which assure freshness in his wines.

Yields at Clos Rouge Gorge are normally 10 to 20 hl/ha, harvesting is by hand into small baskets, light crushing by foot is followed by slow fermentations (traditional, not carbonic maceration) with no extraction, alcoholic and malo-lactic fermentation in barrel.

Additional Information

Volume (ml)750ml
Winemaking PracticesNatural Wine
Vineyard PracticesOrganic/Biodynamic
Product typeWine White Viognier Marsanne Roussanne & Friends
RegionLoire Valley

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