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14 January 2013

Roussillon: Domaine de Joliette, Espira de l'Agly

Domaine de Joliette

Jean Gardiès' (update to follow soon) neighbours Philippe (pic.) and Laurence Mercier have been based in Espira for some time now – and there's a “...great-grandfather and grandfather after the war... with even older Catalan roots...” story lurking nicely in there somewhere - and Joliette is rightly a well-known name on the northern Roussillon quality circuit. Eleven vine varieties, including more whites than you might imagine in this sometimes very hot and dry microclimate and terrain, and their treasured environment have been looked after using organics since 2000. All in all, around 30 ha/75 acres make up the Joliette estate lying on the spectacular near-lunar (although a touch more wooded!) landscape nestling up near Espira and Vingrau on the edge of the Corbières hills.
Route de Vingrau, 66600 Espira de l'Agly. Phone: 04 68 64 50 60 / 06 80 33 31 44. mercier.joliette@wanadoo.fr & www.joliette-mercier.com.

2010 Côtes du Roussillon white – nutty honeyed nose, toasty and creamy palate with roasted hazelnut notes vs nice crisper 'mineral' side too. Good to very good.
2009 Côtes du Roussillon red – toasted oak tones layered with very ripe dark fruit, concentrated and grippy, closes up a little on its taut finish. Needs time.
2006 Cuvée Montpins (mostly Mourvèdre) – mix of herby, black olive and cooked cassis notes; concentrated and firm mouth-feel with savoury vs dark fruit, powerful and still youthful finish. Wow, very good.
2005 Côtes du Roussillon Villages – savoury leather aromas with minty edges too, structured and concentrated, quite extracted tannins with coconut nuances vs rich and dark texture. Good+

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Header image: Château de Flandry, Limoux, Languedoc. Background: Vineyard near Terrats in Les Aspres, Roussillon.