Cotes de Roussillon, Cotes Catalanes
The Roussillon is a region which is producing some elegant, complex and very enjoyable wines. It is a large area stretching from the edges of the Corbieres down to the Spanish border and including areas such as Calce, Latour De France, Maury, Banyuls and the foothills of the Pyrenees. A wide variety of wines match the rich variety of landscapes from coast to mountains. Fortified dessert wines such as Banyuls, crisp whites especially those based around Grenache Gris and rich, elegant reds. Established producers such as Gauby and Pithon have raised the bar and there are many new producers in the region picking up that challenge to make Roussillon one of the great wine regions of the world.
In November I attended a very good Portes Ouvertes event at Latour De France, a showcase of natural wines (report here) and was really taken by the wines of Cyril Fahl at Domaine Rouge Gorge. His wines are to be found in many top restaurants and deserve their excellent reputation. Wines which reflect the beauty and also the ruggedness of the area.
I also met Saskia van der Horst of Domaine Les Arabesques and was happy to taste her wines again at Biotop at Millésime Bio. Saskia is a relatively new winemaker running a small domaine but is already producing lovely, well balanced wines. I look forward to following her career. Look out for her at RAW in London in May.
Domaine Treloar is in Trouillas and run by Jonathan and Rachel Hesford. I have mentioned them many times and I love their wines, the white Terre Promise is one of my favourite white wines of any region and the reds are just as good, cuvées such as Tahi and Le Maudit, (not forgetting a beautifully balanced Muscat de Rivesaltes).
I look forward to returning to Roussillon soon as it is a hugely exciting area of established and upcoming producers who are transforming the region’s wines.
(Update: already met a number of new Roussillon producers today March 29th in Arles who confirm my opinion that this is a region producing exciting wines,more to follow soon)