Domaine Des Deux Clés 'Jeux de Cles' Blanc 2019

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Alcohol: 14.5%

Grape(s): 100% Roussanne

Localization: Languedoc, France

Tasting Notes: Immensely fresh in character, with only a bit of time in barrel before racking and bottling unfiltered, the nose is loaded with orchard fruits and white flowers, and a spice I always place as Asian tea but is uniquely tell-tale for the variety wherever it is made. The texture is round and juicy without any oak or buttery character to get in the way of the rich minerally fruit character that runs through the palate.

Notes: .4ha South-East facing parcel of red clay and limestone soils, with a high proportion of oxidized iron. The Roussanne is the first harvest of the vintage and the whole bunches are directly pressed upon arrival in the cellar. The juice undergoes 2 days of cold settling, then is racked off the gross lees straight into barrels. Fermentation begins naturally using only indigenous yeasts and is carried out entirely in 228L French oak barrels. Stirring of the fine lees begins near the end of alcoholic fermentation. In 2019 malolactic fermentation was partly blocked to preserve freshness in the wine.

100% of the volume is aged 7-8 months in used 228L French oak barrels. The barrels are made from tight grained French oak that is lightly toasted, and specially selected from the coopers Chassin and Damy. Racked into stainless steel one month prior to bottling. 

Food Pairing: Exotic without being heavy or unctuous, this is a fantastic match with richer seafood (crab cakes), things you would usually lean towards a white Burgundy/Chardonnay choice but want to push the culinary envelope.

 

The Domain: Situated among the rocky valleys of the Hautes-Corbières, just 25km from the Mediterranean Sea, and only accessible by small winding roads is the sleepy village of Fontjoncouse. Despite its relative isolation and a population of just over 120 inhabitants this tiny village is home to Gilles Goujon’s world renowned, Auberge du Vieux Puits. Gourmands the world over travel to Fontjoncouse to dine at this three-star Michelin restaurant. Many are perhaps oblivious to the tiny Domaine located at 1 Avenue Saint-Victor as they pass it on their way to Auberge du Vieux Puits. Here, not much more than a stone’s throw from one of the world’s best restaurants, Gaëlle and Florian Richter are producing some of the most distinctive and soulful wines coming out of the Languedoc today.

The Domaine consists of 14 hectares planted to 8 different varieties: predominately Carignan for the reds, with Grenache and a little Syrah, and for the whites, Macabeu, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Vermentino and Roussanne. The existing vines were worked organically since 2001, but immediately upon taking over the vineyards Gaëlle and Florian started the conversion to Biodynamic farming. Today, all vineyards are Demeter certified or in the conversion process. Work in the vineyards is dominated by meticulous manual labor, as the narrow vine rows of the older plantings make working with a tractor impossible. Gaëlle and Florian are in the vines daily and intimately understand each parcel they farm.

The couple have a firm belief that this understanding is necessary in order to craft wines as singular and unique as the terroirs from which the wines are produced.

In the cellar the focus is on elegance and freshness. Both great lovers of Burgundy, Gaëlle and Florian believe that the unique micro-climate of Fontjoncouse lends itself nicely to a finesse driven style reminiscent of their favorite Burgundies. The whites are vinified in the traditional Burgundian way, with low pressure pneumatic pressing, fermentation and maturation in 228L French oak barrels, with gentle rackings and light batonnage. The reds are fermented utilizing a combination of whole clusters and whole berries in large concrete and stainless-steel tanks. In order to maintain freshness and avoid the extraction of harsh tannins, the reds undergo one light pump-over a day. A minimal amount of sulfur is added at the completion of malolactic fermentation and all wines are bottled without fining or filtration.