Mas Gabinele Faugeres 2019
35% grenache, 30% syrah, 25% carignan, 10% mourvèdre
The soil is predominantly Laurens-Cabrières sandstone schist, a neighbouring type to the Faugères hills soils. This soil type is of fragile structure, slightly acidic and can be difficult for the vines and which, when associated to adapted cultivation methods provides excellent balance for the vines.
The climate in 2019
The 2019 vintage started with unseasonally heavy rains in October and November 2018, followed by a rather dry winter which was quite mild from February onwards. The summer was very hot with a temperature record of 46°C on Friday 28th June and remained very dry until the beginning of the harvest. These conditions had quite an impact on the fruit: the whites retained wonderful aromatic freshness, the Syrah berries stayed small and therefore needed a high level of control during extraction. The Grenache, which is well adapted to our Mediterranean climate, resisted well. The welcome rains on 18, 19 and 20 September allowed the Carignan and Mourvèdre to ripen evenly.
Pruning and yield
Double Cordon de Royat pruning for Syrah and Mourvèdre, traditional goblet pruning for the Grenache and Carignan. In 2019, the harvest was generous, with 715 hectoliters from a total surface area of 23 hectares, i.e. very low yield of 30 hectolitres per hectare.
Hand harvested with parcel selection for the ripest grapes (from 12 September for the first Syrah and 2 October ber for the last Mourvèdre.
Long maceration for 20 to 30 days.
The wine is matured in new or one-wine oak casks for 12 months, punctuated by regular racking off.
We have produced 62,000 bottles of this vintage.
This 2019 vintage is probably one of the most accomplished and precise ever. The connection with the schistous terroir is perfectly respected.
A bright ruby red colour.
The bouquet relays the minerality with tantalising restraint (notes of warm slate) and aromatic concentration (black fruit, tapenade, toasted bread, pepper).
The palate adds a fresh framework to this aromatic range, with grainy, powdery tannins.
Balsamic finish (cedar, rockrose).
The 1998 harvest yields only 45 hectolitres of wine, on an area of 2.5 hectares of vines. It's not much, but it's very good! It will be the reference vintage, with the will to progress each year. Modest in size at the beginning, the estate has gradually grown to reach 23 hectares today. The grape varieties are those of the Faugères appellation: syrah, grenache, lledoner pelut, carignan and mourvèdre, plus some very old vines of grey grenache planted in 1958!
Other little stories
On a qualitative but demanding terroir, the yields are always voluntarily low, around 25hl/ha. Rigorous, demanding and perfectionist, Thierry Rodriguez knows from experience that the soil gives back what it is given. No good wine without beautiful, healthy and ripe grapes. No cultivation without respect for nature. Here, there is no revolution, but common sense on the part of the farmers and practices that respect the environment and biodiversity. The landscape is hilly, the vines are surrounded by natural hedges, woods and forests of holm oak, cork oak and garrigue (strawberry bush, cade, rockrose, heather, broom, thyme). In 2016, the special care taken in the vineyard earned the estate HVE (High Environmental Value) certification. Built in 2013, the cellar is modern and functional. The vinification equipment was chosen to preserve the quality of the harvest as much as possible. The harvest is manual, the grapes are sorted in the vineyard and then brought whole to the cellar. The ambition is to produce great wines, expressive, fruity, with soft and silky tannins and yet with good ageing potential. As soon as fermentation is finished, the wines are put into French oak barrels to mature for 12 to 18 months.