DOMAINE PIÉTRI-GÉRAUD, Collioure
Domaine Piétri-Géraud was founded at the end of the 19th century. Today it is run by Laétitia Piétri-Clara, who took over from her mother Maguy; the latter, still active, keeps a watchful eye.
Laétitia is the fifth generation of this family of Collioure winemakers to tend their vines.
“From my 13 hectares with low yields, I make five Collioure cuvées and five Banyuls; some would say I make life difficult for myself. I have been running the estate for over ten years now, and the more progress I make, the further I want to go, but the more doubts and anxieties I have.”
The vineyards are on the steep slopes of the commune of Collioure. This is the point where the Pyrenees tumble into the Mediterranean; the schist terraces which form the appellations of Collioure and Banyuls cling to the hillsides. This is rugged terroir, with a very strong identity; everything is farmed and harvested by hand, and yields are very low with an annual average of around 22 hl/ha.
A white Banyuls is a rarity. The vast majority is red (or brown depending on the style). Banyuls white ‘Cuvée du Soleil’ is made in the traditional (oxidative) way. This extraordinary wine is matured unsheltered (in open air) during 3 years in huge glass bottles (90%) and the remaining 10% is matured in barriques.
The low yielding Grenache Blanc (80%) and Grenache Gris (20%) deliver an extremely complex nose – raisins, dry apricots, quince and caramel – the palate is richly textured, with dried fruits, cream and a mineral touch on the finish.
“Aren’t we allowed to just write ‘yummy’ and leave it at that? This gently fortified Grenache wine spends the best part of five years ageing before release. It has a pale amber colour and wonderfully complex nose of stewed figs, walnuts, Lapsang Souchong and prunes. It washes over the palate with sweet, full fruit, all those cosseting, comforting flavours and a warming, spicy finish. Terrific – and a refrigerated bottle will stay fresh for weeks after opening. 93/100” The Wine Gang