WineWriting.com & French Mediterranean Wine
Richard Mark James' wine and travel blog

21 August 2012

Roussillon: Domaine Jean Louis Tribouley, Latour de France

Jean Louis Tribouley
Jean Louis Tribouley
From Weygandt Wines site
I've bumped into Jean Louis a few times over the years at various tastings and goings-on in the area, but most recently in Montpellier at the 2012 edition of Millésime Bio wine show and the Real Wine Fair in London. These charming encounters reminded me what tireless enthusiasm he has for his wines, what he does to create them and this way of life. Smiley easy-going JL started up his own estate about ten years ago, after a stint working for Gauby as seems to be the fashion as some kind of almost mandatory 'real-wine' apprenticeship for several of the region's best growers, or best-known at least.
Jean Louis decided to farm his vines and grapes organically from the word go – how could you not having spent time with Gérard Gauby, who wouldn't tolerate anything else! - and is also keen on applying biodynamic methods, as well as a 'low-or-no' sulphite rationale. His 14 ha (35 acres) of vineyards are spread out between fairly remote spots in Latour, Maury and Calce. The most recent acquisition was a few mixed plots of elderly Grenache gris and Macabeu used for his white wines; and most of the reds are based on a healthy dollop of sexy old-vine Grenache and/or Carignan. US distributor is Weygandt Wines (Washington DC) or K&D Wines (NYC), and Indigo Wine in London. There's no website/blog, but you could try emailing on jean-louis.tribouley@orange.fr. Or if you want to call in: 9 Place Marcel Vie, 66720 Latour de France; tel. 04 68 29 03 86.


2011 white (Grenache gris, Macabeu; unfinished sample) – a touch of toasted oak underlined by exotic banana and pineapple fruit, yeast lees edges bring out its attractive quite rich vs crisp and tight features. Good stuff.
2010 Marceau white Côtes Catalanes (mostly Macabeu grown on schist soil) – similar profile to above but creamier/buttery and layered with unusual flowery notes, minty even; rich vs crisp palate, very good actually.
2010 Les Copines Côtes du Roussillon (Grenache, Carignan) – intense and 'inky'/rustic nose with rich vs crunchy fruit profile, turning to enticing leather vs liquorice notes, concentrated spicy finish with a touch of dry grip. Good.
2009 L'Alba Côtes du Roussillon (Carignan, Grenache, Syrah) – reduced/awkward nose, moves on to roasted red pepper hints vs very dark fruit and lightly toasty chocolate tones; quite wild and powerful with underlying lush intense finish, again shows a quirky mix of rustic-edged, peppery and charred almost (but it's not the oak)! Exciting though. US $20.
2009 Les 3 Lunes Côtes du Roussillon Villages – a touch 'finer' with the same kind of attractive ripe dark vs spicy and earthy mix, again concentrated and intense on its long finish. Very good+.
2009 Cuvée 1901 – quite rustic, wild and/or 'bretty' but has lovely intense roasted 'garrigue' characters too; not so sure this one's for me but...

Tribouley tasted and talked about previously on this blog:
Roussillon trip 2005 (including his 2003 Alba).
Probably more to follow...

No comments:

Post a Comment