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Mamaruta Amassa Rouge 2016

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Super light bodied, fresh and fun Natural Wine from the Languedoc (France). It's made entirely of Cinsault in a carbonic manner, which isn't seen on it's own too often. Chill slightly and expect a slight spritz. Picnic wine. - Chris L

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Importer Note:

Marc Castan was born in Narbonne, and spent most of his childhood in the region of Les Corbières Maritimes, with a love of the land and the sea. His Grandfather also once grew grapes, and Marc managed to recover vineyards that he had planted in 1952 in the commune of La Palme. It was in 2009 that Marc founded domaine mămărutá, with 10 hectares between two sites - one in La Palme next to a huge pond, where the soils are a mix of alluvial deposits, clay, limestone and large pebbles, and one in the commune of Leucate, on large cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean sea, where the soils are made up of ancient limestone plates. For context, these two sites are about 10 minutes drive apart, and about an hours drive north from the border of Spain. He has now expanded his holdings to 14 hectares, working with Macabeu, Muscat à Petits Grains, Carignan Blanc and Grenache Gris for the whites and Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Carignan Noir for the reds - some of the Carignan vines are 120 years old.

Since creating the Domaine, Marc has worked tirelessly to improve vineyard health and is now certified organic. He has planted hedges at the edges of the vineyards and there are also old handmade rock walls - all to protect the vines from dust and ocean winds. He has more than 10 Highland cows, which he brings into the vineyards over winter, to fertilise the soils and eat the weeds and grass. Nicknamed 'The Mowers', he rotates these beautiful animals every 15 days. The soils are also treated with homemade compost, created by the Mowers, who also feast on leftover grapes. There is vigorous vine maintenance, and herbal preparations are used to heal wounds and cuts after pruning. 70% of the vines are Goblet trained, with the rest being Guyot or Cordon Royat. The vineyards have all sorts of wild herbs and plants growing within them, and in particular, wild fennel, as well as beautiful old fig and almond trees which can be found along some of the flanks.

Harvest starts early, usually around mid August, to ensure acidity is high and alcohol is low. This is important as it is warm here, although being by the sea ensures the winds keep things cool, and keep out disease. Interestingly on my last visit in September 2016, we asked Marc why so many grapes in the area had not been harvested. He said that most winemakers like their grapes super ripe, and allow them to get up to 18% alcohol. They then add huge amounts of water to the wine to bring the alcohol levels back down. Insane. Marc and his team always pick the grapes by hand in the early morning, and only use small boxes to ensure the grapes are kept in pristine condition. Yields are low (between 8hl/ha and 30hl/ha).

The wine making is natural, with indigenous yeasts and no additives. Some wines only see stainless steel or fibreglass and a few see old oak barrels as well. Marc always aims for zero sulfur, but will add 1-2g/hl to stabilise the wines if he feels it is necessary. This amount of sulfur is barely detectable, but ensures problems like mouse and brett are kept at bay.

Additional Information

Volume (ml)750ml
Winemaking PracticesNatural Wine
Vineyard PracticesOrganic/Biodynamic
Product typeWine Red Other Varietal
RegionLanguedoc Roussillon

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