Mas Gabinele Faugeres Rarissime 2019
Syrah 50%, Mourvèdre 40%, Grenache 10%.
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 trellising for Syrah and Mourvèdre, traditional goblet pruning for the Grenache. Yield was from 25 to 30 hl/ha depending on the parcel.
Hand harvesting with sorting of the ripest grapes in the vineyard (between 12 September and 2 October).
Long maceration periods at high temperature (25 to 30° C) even, and above all, after completion of the sugar cycle. Extraction by repeated and alternating classic techniques: pumping over, drawing off.
We have produced 18,000 bottles of this vintage.
This vintage, year after year, is characterised by a concept that is truly difficult to reproduce: balance.
The more concentrated a wine is, the harder it gets to obtain and maintain this precious balance.
One is immediately reassured by the deep colour with a purple hue. The aromas have been slowly but inexorably developing since leaving the ageing cellar: Burlat cherry, violet, blackcurrant jam, ink and even mirabelle plum and mango.
This aromatic profusion is wisely channeled on the palate through powerful, muscular, voluptuous tannins. We can imagine much more aromatic and sensory development in the coming years.
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.