3 week maceration of Grenache Gris, Blancs et Noirs. Elevage in stainless steel on the fine lees. This cuvée is truly mind-blowing, proof that co-fermentation is a magical operation. Fresh-fruited and ruby red in the glass, with flecks of green herbs and rose petals, this is somewhere between Tavel, Calce, and everywhere in between.
We’ve found ourselves just east of our adopted home of Fond Cypres in Corbières, in the idyllic Canet en Roussillon. We’re just outside of town, which sits starkly on the Mediterranean coastline. Here, though, while the salty ocean air still reaches far enough to kiss our cheeks, we’re far enough from any hustle or bustle to feel totally removed. Wide swaths of vines line these small paved roads, lined by wildflowers and punctuated every so often by palm trees (which is surprising to us, every time we come back here). Twenty hectares of this sprawling goliath belong to the young Vincent Lafage and his family, though Vincent has selected a scant two hectares for his own purposes.
Walking into Vincent’s cuverie immediately piques our curiosity. Several tanks line the walls, filled with experiments that Vincent clearly can’t wait to pour for us. In one corner is a collection of fishing poles, causing Vincent to wax poetic about his love of la pêche (he hopes to catch some bluefin tuna soon). He lights up with a similarly wholesome enthusiasm when talking about his wines, featuring label illustrations by a friend in Brussels (one of which showcases his dog Marcel, who’s currently recovering from an ambitious jump). After each taste of wine, he charmingly spits into the grates that line the winery floor—and encourages us to do the same, should we choose to kip our wits about us.
Make no mistake— while Vincent’s youthful energy and demeanor are alone enough to lure you in, his creations are that of a winemaker well into their careers, expertly woven into wines of depth, freshness, and elegance. Vincent’s farming, too, is top notch; just ask Alice Bouvot of Domaine de l‘Octavin and mentor Patrick Bouju, who clamor year after year for some of his fruit.
The more we taste, vintage-to-vintage, the more impressed we find ourselves. A budding master, no doubt, and wines that may certainly establish themselves in and among the new guard of Roussillon.
- Super Glou
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