The Syrah and Carignan were whole cluster fermented separately for 10 days in fiberglass tanks. On the 11th day the grapes were pressed, and the juice was transferred back to fiberglass tanks to complete fermentation. Only the naturally occurring indigenous yeasts were utilized in the fermentation. The Syrah and Carignan were blended on the 15th day. Aged 10 months in amphora. Prior to bottling a very low dose of sulfur was added. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
If you ask François-Xavier Dauré, F.X. for short, he will tell you he was destined to become a vigneron. Indeed, he is the 4th generation of Dauré to grow grapes in and around the village of Espira de L’Agly. Jokingly he claims to have been born on a tractor, and that is not far from the truth. Many of his earliest memories take place on a tractor with his father. From a young age F.X. worked in the vineyards with his family. However, with the entire production being sold to the cooperative, F.X. needed to look elsewhere to gain experience making wine.
Starting in 2008 F.X. began working with different vignerons in the Roussillon. Intrigued by Organic farming and minimal intervention in the cellar, F.X. joined Tom Lubbe at Matassa in 2015. In July of that same year, F.X. took over full control of his family’s Domaine and began the conversion to Organic farming. For the next 5 vintages, he worked with Tom in the vines and the cellar at Matassa, while also farming 16 hectares of his own vines. F.X. continued to sell the production of the family Domaine to the cooperative. To be full-time at Matassa and farm an additional 16 hectares organically, was a monumental task. For over 4 years (5 vintages) F.X. was in the vineyards hours before sunrise using a headlamp to see his work. People would joke that he looked like a lampyre, which is a firefly in French. Searching for a name for his new venture, the proverbial light came on! Domaine Lampyres was born.
2016 was the inaugural vintage of Domaine Lampyres with just 600 bottles of cuvée Anima and cuvée Luminescence produced in F.X.’s garage. This was followed by another garage production in 2017 that saw the introduction of his Contre-Attaque bottling. 2018 was a watershed year for the young vigneron. Encouraged by the results in his first two vintages F.X. converted a small barn into a cellar and decreased the amount being sold to the cooperative. Along with the introduction of cuvées Point Triple and Des Sens in 2018, F.X. created a Rosé bottling that he named for his beautiful daughter Margot who arrived earlier in the year. 2019 was F.X.’s last vintage at Matassa and a difficult year for all of the growers in the eastern half of the Roussillon. At the end of June, temperatures skyrocketed to 118°F (48°C) causing sunburn that destroyed over 50% of the potential crop for the vintage. A difficult year yes, but the wines F.X. produced in 2019 are remarkable. When we stumbled upon F.X. in January 2020 at a tasting in Montpellier, the character, balance, and tension of his 2019s was undeniable. To say this is a Domaine to watch is an understatement. Now fully focused on Domaine des Lampyres, we are certain that F.X.’s best vintages are ahead of him.
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