Domaine la Folie Vigneronne



Anne-Sophie Raifaud and Frank Goyer are new to Faugères. They bought the cellars of André Balliccioni in Autignac in 2023 along with his Faugères vineyards, and white Côtes de Thongue, but not the red, in time to make their first vintage in 2023.  Anne-Sophie had been a wine buyer in Paris, and they left the capital five years ago to settle in Montpellier.  She studied wine making and worked in various Languedoc wine estates, thinking all the while about acquiring a vineyard of her own.  The folly was giving up a good salary and stability in Paris to become a vigneronne, and so far, she has not regretted it.  And Franck continues to work as an engineer, while helping Anne-Sophie when he can.


Anne Sophie explained the transition.  They bought André Balliccioni’s stock and blended the 2021 together.  In 2022 she worked with him as a stagiaire and 2023 was her first solo vintage.    They had visited about 30 estates in the Cévennes, the Minervois and around Montpellier before they came to Autignac.   It was a smooth transfer and they continue gently in the footsteps of André Balliccioni and are still in touch with him. Maybe the macerations are shorter and the style lighter, but they have kept his range and have added one new cuvée based on Cinsaut.  François Pennquin remains their consultant oenologist.  The vineyards were already HVE, and they are gradually converting them to organic viticulture.


2022 L’Envie, Côtes de Thongue – 14.00€

A hectare of Bourboulenc and half a hectare of Grenache Blanc, making a percentage of 60% Grenache Blanc and 40%  Bourboulenc in the wine.   They would need Roussanne for Faugères Blanc, a minimum of 30% in a cuvée. 


Quite rounded ripe and textured. Some acidity and a salty note.  Quite a rich finish. 


2023 L’Envie  – 14.00€

Slightly bitter, with youthful fruit and firm acidity, and a salty note on the finish.  They have blend 15% of wine from the previous vintage that was aged in barrel.  Only just bottled, so just an indication of what it will be like.  


2022 Pure Blanc – 18.00€

The same blend, from barrel, with 15% of 2023 without any wood.    Quite pronounced oak on the nose, but less obvious so on the palate.  Quite buttery and more rounded than the previous wine.  Some acidity on the finish.


2023 Faugères Rosé, les Grains – (a vat sample)  - 8.00€

50/50 Mourvèdre and Grenache

Light fresh nose.  Lighti raspberry fruit. Firm and dry with a fresh finish.  


2021 Faugères les Grains  - 10.00€

Anne-Sophie and André blended this together.  80% old vine Carignan.  They don’t know quite how old the vines are, but at least 80 years old, plus 20% Syrah, all in vat.    Carbonic maceration for the Carignan. Medium colour.  Quite smoky tapenade notes on the nose. Nicely spicy.   Medium weight, with a fresh finish.  Anne-Sophie observed that her alcohol levels are generally lower than André’s.  And this was just 13° which is modest for the Languedoc.  I remembered that André Balliccioni had made some original Aramon but apparently that was all pulled up after the frost in 2021.


2021 l’Envie – 14.00

A blend of 50/50 Grenache/Mourvèdre.  Destemmed.  Fifteen-day maceration, which would be shorter in 2023.  Élevage for 12 months in 500 litres barrels of two and three wines, for the micro-oxygenation.


Medium colour. Quite a rich black fruit and tapenade nose.  Rich rounded berry fruit on the palate with a balancing tannic steak.


2021 Pure – 18.00€

Anne-Sophie observed that their wine names all relate to folie so grains de folie, folle envie and pure folie.


Half and half Syrah and Carignan.  All carbonic maceration and élevage in demi muids of one and two wines for 12 months.  They prefer demi-muids to barriques.  A touch of vanilla.  Quite ripe and rich with a streak of tannin. Firm fruit. Good length. Youthful with potential.


2023 Les Éloges (de la folie)  

Will not be bottled until April.    And a new wine, with 70% Cinsaut and 30% Grenache.  Quite light colour.  Fresh cherry fruit on both nose and palate, with acidity as well as tannin.  Élevage in vat. With ten per cent of wine from last year’s barrel.  Very fresh. 


Anne Sophie enthused that they love Pinot Noir - and Franck is from Burgundy.


They have one hectare to plant and have opted for Cinsault, as they love that.  They also need more white grapes, but not Roussanne.  They are wondering about the new disease resistant varieties, but have yet to make any decisions.


I enjoyed their enthusiasm and hope they do well.   Les Eloges especially promised well.


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