A single vineyard wine from one of the driest regions in Europe, this is a stellar red that will make you rethink Grenache, Roussillon and just how far your money can go when buying a bottle of wine!
Inky black and full of dark fruits and raspberry flavours, Morello cherry and kirsch; the palate is immensely broad, as is typical for Maury, but manages to retain a freshness that even at this alcohol level, makes your mouth water. As the glass develops, the influence of wild herbs (the Roussillon's famed "Garrigue") appear with notes of rosemary, thyme, juniper and fennel; but the overriding sensation of richness, dark chocolate and generous fruit gives a stunning texture with tannic structure, breadth, beautiful length and incredible balance.
This red comes from a vineyard of the same name in the Agly valley, famed for black schistous soils dotted with limestone outcrops. 20% of the wine is Carignan, which is grown at the very top of the hill, making picking the harvest a serious challenge, but adding serious quality to the end wine. The Soleilla vineyard is about 400 metres above sea level and looks to be full of tatty, knackered scrubby plants. Which it is: the vines are under such stress and are grown at such extremes, that it's no surprise that harvesting these plants has really taken its toll. As vines stop yielding fruit the get replaced, but not before they have given us of their incredible quality, even if only in tiny, tiny volumes.
There is seriously limited availability of this wine, with only 1900 bottles made. We have 30 of them.
This stunning expression of the Roussillon region in the South of France is one of our most exciting discoveries. If you know the city of Perpignan, you're a stone's throw from these terraces of ancient, often gnarled, yet wonderful vines. Grown in the most part for dessert wines, this is part of a recent push for dry, complex and concentrated reds that have for decades been overlooked. Also a matter of a few kilometres away is the border with Spain - and here, the region that continues to grow similar Grenache vineyards is Priorat, famed for quality and price! This then is an opportunity for Roussillon to become the next top region in France for the production of seriously high-quality reds. And it's an opportunity for you to get them at killer price points!
This wine comes from the French wine-making project of Allotment-friend and Master Of Wine (and general good-bloke) Fergal Tynan. He's originally from Celbridge and now has fantastic and fanatic wine making projects across the globe. Never far from Grenache or Garnacha, this particular set of wines comes from France and sits under the label they created called Terres Fidèles, which literally means "faithful lands", as a nod to authenticity, traditions and integrity of wine making styles. The team here have identified grape varieties that many others ignore in favour of middle-of-the-road commercialised styles; working with seriously small and tatty-looking plots of land, this is a labour of love and a project that will be years and years in the making before anyone makes any return on investment. But until then, we get the sensational fruit of their labours...!
This is the top range, the old-vines Grenache-based wines under the Fidèle label. The quality is off the charts; old vines, tiny parcels, micro-climates and special site selection make the fruit selection a joy (when it isn't overripe) and the triumph is the harnessing of natural extremes. High temperatures, low rainfall, strong winds and drought in the soils: the wines show incredible energy and tension and a powerful generosity. Pictured here is the vineyard itself, from the other side of the valley in September 2023.
Grape(s): Grenache, Carignan
Style: Smooth, Rich, Powerful, Medium Full, Intense, Full, Fruity, Elegant, Dry, Dark, Complex, Balanced
Best food matches: Tapas, Steak, Sausages, Roasts, Ribs, Red Meats, Poultry, Lamb, Duck, Casseroles, Beef, Barbecue