"Buy my book on the Roussillon wine region (colour paperback or eBook) on Amazon UK HERE or Amazon USA HERE. Or order it direct from me (UK & EU only). Also available in the US from Barnes & Noble in hardcover, paperback or eBook. For other countries, tap/click on the link over the cover photo (below right)." Richard Mark James

13 October 2008

Roussillon: Domaine Rouaud, Pézilla-la-Rivière

Jérôme Rouaud and his wife Sophie set up their domaine 6 years ago, farming nine hectares (22 acres) organically from the start; which means they got certified status from the 2005 vintage. Before that, Jérôme worked in the car industry in Paris (yawn) then for Nicolas wine shops; went to Bordeaux to study winemaking and viticulture, moved to the Roussillon to work as a winery assistant, and finally bought, ripped out and rebuilt an old cellar in Pézilla west of Perpignan.
Wines tasted June 2006:
2005 Têt blanc (Carignan blanc) - he has a few, rare white Carignan vines mixed in with the red ones. Mineral tones with light toast and creamy edges, fat mouthfeel v lively intensity v power too; interesting. 87+
2005 Frivole doux (Muscat petits-grains) - less residual sugar than Muscat de Rivesaltes with 33 grams/litre and 12% alc. Nice fresh grapey style, more medium dry really on its clean finish. 85
2004 Barbacane Grenache vin de pays Côtes Catalanes - attractive spicy black fruits with tobacco tones, ripe with soft tannins and attractive pure flavours. 87-89
2003 Côtes du Roussillon rouge (Syrah Carignan Grenache) - lovely dried fruits displaying liquorice and black cherry notes, appealing maturing spicy fruit with oily texture and background dry tannins; weighty length with lingering tobacco fruit. 89+
2004 Têt Pourpre Côtes du Roussillon Villages (Syrah Carignan Grenache) - more overt coconut oak immersed in delicious spicy fruit, blackberry/olive; full bodied with good depth v firm tannins, tight lively length, beginning to develop on the finish. 90+
2003 Tuilé (will go back into barriques before bottling) - intense peppery oxidised plum and tobacco aromas, rich and sweet v nice cut of alcohol.
2005 Frivole rosé vin de Pays Côtes Catalanes (purely so he can put Syrah Grenache on the label) - juicy red fruit style, quite chunky without being blowsy, nice fresh finish. 87
These wines are priced from around €5 to €10. More of them here and here.

Updates: the two reds below were tasted at the 2008 Millésime Bio wine show (Perpignan):
2005 Barbacane (100% Grenache) - smoky and rich style, a tad of awkward background wood that jars a little? Ripe v firm finish.
2006 Têt Pourpre, Côtes du Roussillon Villages (Syrah Carignan Grenache) - lush spicy fruit set on chunky rounded tannins, very tight and lively finish. 89-91

October 2008 - I called in at Jérôme's cellar to see what was new: they now have 13 ha of vineyards after buying and leasing a few more parcels on the slopes just outside Pézilla.
2007 Frivole 'light red' (Grenache Syrah) - slightly fruity liquorice v crunchy black cherry, a bit of dry texture; neither one thing nor the other really: 80+. The 2008 from vat had nicer fruit.
2006 Barbacane (Grenache 13%) - delicious Grenache fruit showing liquorice, spice and turning slightly tobacco-ish; good depth v grip and length, well-balanced and attractive. 89+
2006 Têt Pourpre Côtes du Roussillon Villages (Carignan Syrah Grenache 13.5%) - a touch of subtle spicy oak on the nose and palate, but this has lots of lovely black fruits with savoury edges; solid structured finish, needs 6 to 12 months to open up more. 90-92
2006 Ganaxe Rivesaltes Grenat (Grenache muté sur grains) - enticing dark fruit with peppery and meaty edges; nice balance of sweetness, crunchy fruit and dry tannins. 88-90


7 Rue du Portal d’Amont, 66370 Pézilla-la-Rivière. Tel: 04 68 92 46 59, mobile: 06 98 17 22 81; rouaud.vigneron.66@orange.fr.

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