From Carignan vines planted on schist in 1903, a mixture of force and elegance for one of the finest (and most looked after) wines from the Roussillon.
Tasted from barrel, Gallet’s 2012 Carignan 1903 presents – perhaps even more than usual for this bottling – a quite singular expression of its cepage and vintage. Dark berries – bitter-edged blackberry, blueberry, and huckleberry – are accented by crushed stone and smoky black tea, with an almost gunpowder-like combination of char and faint reduction further stiffening a finish already starched with tannin, but also serving for persistent attention-getting. I am most intrigued as to how this will evolve, past behavior of wine from these vines suggesting that it will be worth following through at least 2025.
|Appellation||VDP Pyrennees Orientales|
|Winery||Domaine le Roc des Anges|
|Other||BIO, No SO2|
|Inventory||Very Low Stock (6)|
Deep colour. Quite a rounded, ripe nose. Quite firm tannins. Underlying freshness. Good minerality and quite intense, but still refreshing. Quite youthful and sturdy and plenty of potential.
Wild hare with a blood and red wine sauce, duck in a blood sauce, game birds.
Rotten schist on the north side of the Forca Real mountain.
Biodynamic farming. Bush vines pruning. Leaf Thinning and pruning. Hand harvest.
Fermented with indigenous yeasts in concrete vats then aged for 9 months in wooden foudres.
Roc Des anges was founded in Febuary 2001. A Carignan vine planted on a vein of quartz is biheind the origin of the name. a white soil surrounded by black schist: the “Lieu-Dit” is called “Roc Blanc” which translates as White Rock. Angels where chosen to symbolize the vein of quartz, and Roc Blanc became Roc Des Anges (Roc of the Angles).
The vineyard lies on topsoil of very old schist (750 million years) soft and flaky, drived from the compaction of pure clay. The bedrock is less than one meter deep. It’s very friable, wich allows an excellent root penetration. These conditions give the vines a chance to get a second wind as June brings drought and warm weather.
The Vinification and aging
Simplicity is the rule, yet it is the most difficult to follow. They observe, they taste, they wait, and they guide the wine toward the fullest expression of terroir. The aging requirement varies according to vintages. Many of the wines are aged in concrete vats: the wine breath and the fruit is reserved. Aging in wood allows the more tight and reticent wines to soften and open up. For this reason they buy premium Burgundy barrels (3 to 5 years of age), and a few new barrels.
Marjorie and Stephane Gallet
Marjorie was exposed to wine at an early age (she grew up near Côte Rôtie), she earned her degree at Montpellier while doing apprenticeships with Yves Cuilleron and Pierre Gaillard in the northern Rhone.