I was in the Roussillon village of Calce a week or two ago, having lunch in the cheerful village restaurant, le Presbytère, and as it happened, some of the village wine growers were there too, Jean-Philippe Padié and Olivier Pithon and they introduced me to the newest arrival in Calce, Séverin Barioz of Face B. He made his second vintage in 2016 and has had a varied career before arriving in Calce As I was between two cellars visits, Roc des Anges and Gérard Gauby, there was not time for a proper cellar visit, but we did manage a quick conversation and tasting,
Why Face B - It’s the B side of a vinyl record; also what Séverin called the crise de la quarantaine, and in Catalan fet bé means fait bien….. Séverin has done various things in the wine industry, including working for the interprofession in Burgundy and then Jean-Philippe Padié introduced him to Calce and he came and worked there, liked for he saw and stayed, and completed his second harvest last year. He has four hectares of vines, in five different plots and make two whites, two reds and a little Muscat, an orange wine, called Yoshi, and some rosé.
2017 Makéba, Côtes Catalanes is a pure Macabeu, with firm stony fruit on the nose. On the palate it is fresh, with firm acidity and some salty notes, and a fresh finish.
2017 Engrenaches, Côtes Catalanes, is a blend of 50% Grenache Gris and Grenache Blanc with 50% Macabeu. It too has firm acidity, balanced with fresh fruit, and a tight structure with good tension. Both wines are lovely examples of just how successful white wine is in this part of Roussillon.
We also tried a pure Carignan, Karignan, Côtes Catalanes The 2017 is still very young, with a deep purple colour and fresh youthful fruit, balanced with tannin and acidity on the palate. It needs time to settle down, but promises to be a lovely example of Carignan. Séverin’s second red is called Peau Rouge and is a blend of equal parts of Syrah and Grenache.
I thought he had made a brilliant debut and I can’t wait to go back for a more detailed and leisurely cellar visit.