The year of transhumance. Leaving the garage was heartbreaking. We’d started making wine at home seventeen years before, able to smell its aromas from our bedroom, and to come down in the middle of a meal to check on the temperature.
Defacing the valley was unthinkable so we headed towards Rivesaltes. New cellar. It wouldn’t be the cellar deciding for me and constricting my choices, from now on I would be in charge. Using technology for wine is like using money in a game of poker, you need it to sit down and start playing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you win. We had everything we needed to start with – a brand new wine press with refrigerated drains, inverted conical tanks, and a small barrel warehouse with air conditioning. It is a process run by the hand of man who, as fallible as he or she might be, will make the wine unique, unlike a machine which uses a recipe and makes it all the same. Some people make that mistake and it ends up costing them a great deal, but we won’t. I felt a little nervous remembering a conversation with Marcel Guigal about the yeast flora living in cellars, and how important it was to keep it alive. We moved all the tanks into the new cellar, hoping the yeast would survive.
A generous crop, a wonderful vintage with a unique velvety texture created by the clay-limehouse soil of Vingrau, topped with a glowing touch, an energy which makes it feel like the wine is fully alive. We obtained stunning ratings in the Wine Advocate with a score of 97/96/96/95/93/93. Full marks and the best rating of the whole of the Languedoc-Roussillon area.