Les Vignes Centenaires 2019 is 100% Carignan, from three separate parcels planted in 1903, totaling a little more than three hectares. The grapes were hand-harvested and destemmed, then fermented on the ambient yeast in closed concrete tanks for seven days, after which the wine was pressed and racked back to the tank to complete fermentation. In the glass, the wine has the glass-coating color of ripe blackberries, almost opaque at the center, with flashes of magenta at the edge. Insistent, penetrating aromas of sun-warmed blackberries, roasted coffee, and cured Kalamata olives move in and out of the foreground, alternating with suggestions of fresh white tobacco, dried sage, and crushed violets, as the nose evolves in the glass. On the palate, the wine is racy, long, and intense, with a deep sweet core of seasoned black and red fruit, ranging from macerated blueberries through ripe wild strawberries and black Mission figs, that unfurls like a peacock’s tail, and lingers through the wine’s endless, silky plum-skin-tannic finish. Even more generous a day later. Drink now – 2035.
About this wine producer: When Marjorie Gallet established her Domaine Le Roc des Anges in 2001, she was a twenty-three-year-old agricultural engineering graduate of Montpellier SupAgro (where she met her enologist husband, Stéphane), and had just completed an internship with Gérard Gauby, then the most famous producer in the Roussillon. But she hadn’t been born in a family with vines, so her story is one of fresh eyes on a treasure taken for granted and abandoned by others, and of her unlimited capacity for hard work. In 2008, Marjorie was joined by her husband Stéphane, who had spent the previous ten years making wine at Domaine du Mas Amiel in nearby Maury. Today their estate is certified Biodynamic, with most of the treatments, including Maria Thun compost in autumn and Préparation 500 in the spring, applied with the aid of a horse, and despite the critical acclaim (Parker, Tanzer, Decanter), Marjorie and Stéphane continue to work 14 hour days (and still carve out as much time as they can for their two young sons Nathan and Arthur).