Thierry Diaz

Deliciously broad, textured white wine from pretty much as far South you can go in France without hopping the Spanish border, and a sort of border-hopping wine it is too, a French/Spanish winemaking couple using a grape sometimes more associated with the wines of Catalonia, although it grows very well in the deep South of the Roussillon.

Bang Bang is a direct press of whole bunch grapes, grown at altitude, in steel. It has a soft, rounded texture and as well as some nice oily lemon citrus, shows delicious bakewell-y sweet almond notes as well as some nice matchstick-y reduction. Extremely tasty stuff. It is a wine that burns bright, however - one to open and drink in one session, it doesn't quite have the stability to be opened over a couple of days. A price we're willing to pay for a wine with this kind of purity that is made with no additions whatsoever!

At the extreme southern border of France, the eastern edge of the Pyrenees drops dramatically into the sparkling sapphire waters of the Mediterranean. Here, gnarled bush vines whipped by the fierce Tramuntana winds perch amongst ancient terraces on black schist cliffs facing the sea. These dizzying terraces are impossible to mechanise and the stoney terraced plots exceptionally low yielding. It is only a handful of hardcore growers who have the drive and know-how to tend to these difficult plots.

Banyuls local Thierry Diaz has been tending to his 4 hectares of old indigenous vines on these Banyuls slopes since 2000. First and foremost a viticultor, it wasn’t until 2012 when some winemaker friends invited him to set up Les 9 Caves together and Thierry found himself with a small space to make wine of his own. Refusing formal winemaking training entirely, Thierry firmly believes that good wine is made in the vineyard, not the cellar, and it is for this reason that Thierry practices a simple and intuitive winemaking style. Pure fermented grape juice from old organically farmed vines, with nothing added. Each wine is from a single plot and a perfect representation of that parcel’s singular terroirs.

Thierry’s wines are perfect representations this region’s potential and the beauty which lies in its contrasts and contradictions. They are powerful Mediterranean wines that are simultaneously concentrated, fresh and saline. Ultimately they are pure and honest wines.