Deep in the back-country of the Languedoc, between the Mediterranean Sea and Cevennes Mountains, lies the wild scrubland of Faugeres. As in Spain’s Priorat, these ancient soils were formed by the compression of clays and primitive marine deposits at extreme temperatures. To survive the often severe droughts, vines delve downward through the schist to interact with rich nutrients.
The resulting wines can be stupendous and great value, and this, in 2009, is what brought Paul and Isla Gordon to the region. Their experience in Australia and New Zealand combines new world gumption with old world traditions – no chemical herbicides or fungicides, and only organic fertilizer to replenish the soil. All grapes are hand-harvested and naturally-fermented; wines are bottled without fining or filtration.
Faugeres Rouge, Les Rabasses, AOP, 2013…..Like the rhythm of the saraband, a stately old dance in triple time, the long note of the second beat for this wine is played by Grenache – 60% of the blend, with 25 % Carignan (part of which underwent malolactic fermentation in large barrels) and 15% Syrah for support and structure. The plummy palate is fruit-packed, with a hint of garrigue, smooth tannins, and a long, lingering finish. Here’s to Handel.
Faugères Misterioso, 2014
Faugères Vieilles Vignes, 2013
Syrah Les Espinasses, 2013