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09 October 2010

Roussillon: Domaine Serrelongue, Maury

Julien Fournier is commendably focused on Mourvèdre and Grenache, excited even judging by his up-front wine labels and the names of the red blends he creates (such as "Extrait de Passion"). Mourvèdre makes up 30% of both his 'starter' wine, Saveur de Vigne (€9), and top cuvée Esprit de Vin (with 60% Syrah and 10% Grenache, priced at an ambitious €28); and 60% M for the aforementioned "Passion Extract" (€22). Grenache makes up the remainder of the latter, is also 40% of Saveur (the rest Syrah) and 100% for Julien's Maury VDN, of course.
Confusing and geeky percentage figures aside, the Grenache all grows in classic Maury area, warm exposed and dry schist soils; and the M and S (so to speak) come from his other vineyard, made up of big pebbles on clay-limestone. He only sources from about 5 ha (12.5 acres) for the Serrelongue estate wines, with the rest of his vineyards supplying fruit to the village co-op. All in all, another very promising estate; I do hope Julien moderates his fondness for new oak! (Read on, ed.)

I tasted these two barrel samples at the Fenouillèdes wine show in April 2007:
2005 Saveur de Vigne – quite a bit of oak but it's well handled, attractive generous fruit and underlying richness with a chocolatey finish. 89-91
2006 Saveur de Vigne – lively herbal black cherry fruit tinged with chocolate oak notes, certainly promising and quite elegant.
Find more Serrelongue wines here, from the 6th Fenouillèdes Wine Fair.

Spring/summer 2009 update: yes, he does now agree about the oak! And is buying more of those bigger 'demi-muids' size casks, which impart less flavour as well. I tasted Julien's latest vintages in Tautavel in late April at the much-mentioned Fenouillèdes wine bash (I have also tasted with him in his cellar and seen some of his vines, by the way), including a brand new white wine as, well, the name says it all really ("feel like a white").
2008 Envie de Blanc (Carignan blanc/Grenache gris) - toasted honey and spice vs exotic and floral fruit; dry mineral finish vs creamy texture. 85-87
2007 Saveur de Vigne (Syrah/Grenache/Mourvèdre) - rich spicy fruit underpinned by softer liquorice notes; light coconut texture but plenty of dark fruit vs dry yet soft-ish tannins. 88+

2010 update: a warm, early October afternoon revealed a red-stained Julien F in his cellar in Maury, working on a bit of pressing and transferring some wines into barrel. I tried these including the maiden vintage of a white Maury:
2009 Envie de Blanc (Carignan blanc/Grenache gris) - shows a bit of yeast-lees character and texture vs underlying fresh acidity; juicy appley flavours and mouth-feel vs richer more honeyed side. Nice dry white style. €5 87+
2009 Carigno (mostly Carignan plus a splash of Mourvèdre/Syrah) - attractive nose and palate with ripe berry and spicy cassis fruit; grippy yet rounded tannins with quite tight and focused finish, again nice style. €5 87+
2008 Saveur de Vigne - enticing herby vs dark cherry notes on the nose; nice peppery punchy character with lightly coconut flavour / texture vs subtle concentration, tight and firm vs rounded on the promising finish. 88-90
2010 white Maury (Grenache gris/Grenache blanc: from cask and not ready yet, obviously!) - lots of aromatic pear fruit, turning rich in the mouth with tasty honey notes vs refreshing acidity and cut; long finish with enticing zesty citrus vs sweetness (about 100g/l residual sugar). Should be good.
2008 red Maury (Grenache 80-90 RS) - lots of sweet black fruits underpinned by light wood texture, has nice freshness and tight tannins too making it quite restrained in style. 87-89

149 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 66460 Maury - www.domaineserrelongue.com.

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