Domaine des Trinités - An update
Back to cellar visits, and catching up on local friendly vignerons. Simon Coulshaw was in ebullient mood, with wine to sell, after a disastrous 2018 following an attack of mildew.
Light colour; lightly peachy, dry fruit on the nose, and on the palate some fresh acidity which makes it slightly atypical Viognier, with some refreshing fruit and lightly peachy notes. Medium weight - very restrained Viognier, if Viognier can ever be described as retrained. Simon emphasised that he wants freshness and understated tension in his wine.
2019 Roussanne, Vin de France - 12.00€
A little colour. Satisfying texture. Leafy notes; some dry honey and good acidity. Nicely rounded on the palate. Simon had had a phase of making an orange wine from his Roussanne, but this is much more retrained with just five days of skin contact. He used a CO2 blanket to avoid any oxidation, leaving it at 6C and then pressed the grapes and fermented the juice in the usual way. He has planted more Roussanne, and also some Bourboulenc, which is the principal grape variety of La Clape and not usually to be found in Faugères..
Cinsaut with just 10% Syrah. I like this a lot, and I have even taken my own advice and bought some! Medium colour. Light cherry fruit on both nose and palate. A little streak of tannin, as well as some acidity. Fresh cherry fruit, with a lightly peppery streak. 2013 was the first vintage of this lovely wine; 2015 followed and then there was none until this 2019.
2019 Pech Mege, Pézenas - 11.00€
60% Grenache, with 30% Syrah and 10% Carignan. Medium colour. Some peppery notes on the nose. Quite rich rounded palate, with juice red cherry fruit. Very ripe - at 14º, with a dry finish.
2017 Le Portail, - 12.00€
This is Simon’s entry level Faugères, but this year it is Vin de France, due to a disagreement about the policy of the syndicat. 2019 will return to Faugères, but frankly what is the difference. You are buying the reputation of the wine grower rather than the appellation. Simon feels that the new slogan of Faugères, Grand Vin de Nature conveys a rather confusing message and does not really convey the best of Faugeres. For him, Faugères is a wine with freshness and minerality; it is not about Nature or natural winemaking, and not necessarily about schist.
As for the wine; no élevage in oak. Deep colour. Quite dense nose. Quite sturdy with some black fruit. Quite tannic and youthful on the finish solid black fruit with a fresh finish. Medium weight. Plenty of potential.
From 100 year old Carignan vines, as well as 30% Grenache, from 60 year old wines, both in the same vineyard. Higher acidity levels than usual in 2016, making this very much a wine to keep. Fresh brambly spice on the nose. Very elegant, fresh with some weight; black fruit and a little tannin.
And Simon always has plans; a Syrah Viognier blend from the 2019 vintage is in the pipeline, with Viognier accounting for 6% of the wine. It will be bottled 2021. His second Faugères les Maurels,will not be bottled until 2021 either. And there will be a 2020 Cuvée 42 - in due course.