Domaine De L'Ausseil
Jacques and Anne de Chancel and their two children relocated to the village of Latour de France, in the heights of the Pyrenées to farm old vines which were formerly dedicated to co-op production. Former winemakers for others in Bordeaux, Portugal and Chilé, the family began a search for their own vines. They landed upon a plot at 300-400 meters above the Mediterranean, with a glimpse to the Atlantic behind. Here there were already planted old vines of Carignan, Macabeo, Grenache (in varied colors), Muscat, Mourvèdre, and Syrah. They quickly learned their terrain and began to implement their natural farming ideas. Jacques works the soils of schist and granite with cover crop and homemade composts. Not a drop of chemical is used; everything is wild and unharmed in the fields. In the gravity-fed cellar, the same ideals are followed: wild yeast fermentation, minimal manipulation and low SO2. Jacques always has multiple cuvées brewing at once, learning as he goes but rewarded with his patience. All this reveals pure fruits, spices and flowers of the land around them, with elegance and concentration. Yields are low, the terrain is windy, but they are a wine-making duo sharp enough to polish it to an organic luster.
Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes, Rouge, ‘P’tit Piaf’
80% Merlot, 20% Grenache
The grapes are hand-harvested from 1.2 hectares of 17-year old Merlot vines and 10 year old Grenache vines, grown on alluvial limestone-sandy terraces, usually around the end of August. The grapes are sorted and then destemmed without crushing. Maceration lasts about ten days, followed by spontaneous fermentation with only natural yeasts that lasts for 15 days in fiberglass and resin tanks, during which there are few remontages. Aged in barrel for 6-8 months; unfiltered.
Côtes du Roussillon Villages, Rouge, ‘les Trois Pierres’
60% Syrah (40 year old vines), 20% Carignan (70 year old vines), 20% Grenache (from 70 year old vines)
Planted on 1 hectare of a hillside composed of gneiss and schist soils, sitting about 200m above sea level, the grapes for ‘Les Trois Pierres’ are hand-harvested in September and sorted by hand. The grapes are de-stemmed, followed by maceration for 21 days and then fermentation, with only natural yeasts, in fiberglass and resin tanks for 25 days. Aged in 225L casks for a year. The wine is bottled 18 months after harvest without fining or filtering.