Les Foulards Rouges, Frida

€36,25

 

A little muted on the nose at first yet compelling and complex: it opens up to exhibit elderberries, black cherries, plum, red and black berries and herbs - with just a light sensation of Mediterranean sun. On the palate this is structured, dense, with the spine  of the old vines shining through: there is a great balance with the lightness of the extraction and the precise tannins. The aromas are more herbal and mineral, with notes of thyme, grain of paradise,  blood orange zest, iron and graphite. Don't hesitate to decant, it can be served slightly chilled (14-16C).

Frida comes from 3 small parcels (40 ares)  of 100 year-old co-planted Carignan with Grenache Noir, Gris and Blanc on the bottom of the hillside. The vines grow on deep sands. They are harvested and vinified together: chilled on arrival, they are destemmed  then macerated at 15C  temperature in tank without pigeage nor remontage in order to preserve the freshness. Free-run and press juices are blended then aged in 500 litres used barrels before being bottled by hand in the beginning of Spring without any SO2 addition. 

DOMAINE DES FOULARDS ROUGE, JEAN-FRANCOIS NICQ,
Montesquieu des Alberes - Organic, Natural

Jean-François Nicq took over the domaine in 2002. It was then ten hectares and he planted a further two on beautiful schist and gneiss slopes. In his first year he began the conversion to organic viticulture. In his previous job he vinified the wines at the co-op in the Côtes-du-Rhône (Estezargues) where he worked without sulphur and maintained this practice of natural winemaking at Foulards for his first vintage. The terroir is Les Albères in the Pyrenées-Orientales, 10km from the sea and Collioure, where the maritime influence brings the freshness that enables the wines to reach phenolic maturity without excessive alcohol. The nor-nor –east exposition of the vines compounds this character and finally the soils which make up this ancient granitic area bequeath a delicacy and elegance to the wines. The yields are kept low by the climatic conditions; successive droughts over the years have forced the vines to develop deep root systems to search for water and mineral nourishment.

Depending on the parcel the yields range from 5- 25hl/ha. Purity is the watchword here; the first thing you notice is the freshness of the wines, and, dare one say, some pretty juicy fruit.