From a co-planted vineyard of Grenache Blanc, Gris and Noir (roughly 25%, 45%, 30%); very old, massive vines on schist with a little bit of sand and clay, limestone underneath. This is the only part of the estate, and indeed the only part of the village, where there is a mix of soil.
"Seb Danjou points out that the acidity of the wine comes from the Grenache Noir (picked with the Gris and Blanc, it’s slightly underripe), the texture from the Grenache Gris and the terpenes in the wine from the pine forest and thick rosemary bushes that surround the vineyard. Young, he reckons that the wine is more ‘terpenic, needs to calm down, is best with smoky fish cooked whole over the coals of an open fire’. With four or five years of ageing, it becomes creamier and can handle richer fish dishes. Slightly (delicately) smoky but the sweetness of stone-fruit aromatics developing over several days. Broad-shouldered. A long, quiet trajectory of flavour funnelled through a corridor of fine, restrained but unapologetic bitterness. Next to La Truffière, this wine has a delicate biddability, but that’s only in comparison. Its smoke weft into pomelo warp; its peach-sweet yarn pulled into silvery tension. It’s silk into stone. There is a strong ley line of bitterness connecting vine, earth, man. In this glass, you can feel the thousand pruning cuts that go back nearly a century; the scars that turn to buds that turn to grapes that turn to wine. Year after year. In this glass, you taste wild-flower nectar, crushed rosemary oils, pine needles. It’s a wine with the texture of linen card, pressed with lemon blossom, olive leaf. It’s as delicate, and as strong, as a spider web. It catches the light through the dew at dawn." - 17.5 points, Tamlyn Currin for JancisRobinson.com
Winemaker: "This is the story of our life – to rebuild the Clos des Escounils. We are working very hard on this place. The soils are starting to be ready to greet the [new] vines. First, we plant the rootstock and give it two or three years to adapt, then we hand-graft with massale selection. It takes longer – double the time. We don’t plant the vines for ourselves. We plant for future generations. Our history is not the history of a person, it is the history of a family. This gives sense to me. For me, it is a good job."
Terroir: Schist with a little bit of sand and clay, limestone underneath.
Ages of the vines: 95 to 100 years old
Vinification: Grapes are hand-harvested // natural fermentation (indigenous yeast) // gentle pressing // fermentation in Foudre // aged in old oak barrels for 18 months // no fining // no filtration // no acidification // no chaptalisation.
- France, Roussillon
- Domaine Danjou-Banessy
- Ready to Drink And Will Improve