The French Catalonian wine regions were long known more for their fortified wines than their 'everyday' reds and whites, with the names Banyuls, Maury, and Riversaltes carrying a level of respect in the world of wine drinkers. Most of the wines that did come from here had the reputation of being chunky, heavy-handed, and lacking the depth and character found in wines from the Rhone even though they largely used the same grape varieties. Much of the fortified wine industry dropped off over the last 20+ years, and the Catalonian/Roussillon region has seen a huge shift in focus. Neglected vineyards are being renovated by a new generation of winemaker looking to rebuild the reputation of the wines from the ground up. Since the estate was established in 2001, Marjorie Gallet and husband Stephane have farmed their older vineyards by organic/biodynamic principles and planted their newest vines using these methods from the very start, even to the extent of using plow horses to tend the soils in most of their vineyards. Not only has their quality improved as the old vines adapt and the new vines mature, but their natural alcohol content has by and large gone DOWN. The wines still have big flavors, but can achieve the intensity without a boozy, over-saturated mouthfeel and headiness.
Segna de Cor comes from the estate's youngest vines of Grenache, Carignan, and Syrah, and deliver a perfect picture of the balance and harmony this region can provide. Deep and youthful purple in the glass, the aromas are of surprisingly crisp and crunchy dark fruit, lots of currants blackberry as well as savory dark spice. By aging only in concrete tanks versus any barrel, the lively natural character shows through with absolutely no sign of boozy heat. The weight and texture on the palate is quite substantial with a minimally filtered fullness to it, and matches the savory dark fruits on the nose perfectly. As it opens up there is a gamey high toned character that could scratch the itch for a Northern Rhone fan, but still showing off the underlying warmth of the region. Yet another fascinating wine that breaks down the preconceptions of what a region is supposed to produce.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!