Well hello Macabeu
The full name of this rare wine includes four words that perfectly sum up its location, its makers and its spirit: off the beaten track.
"To say I look for vineyards no-one else wants would only be a slight exaggeration," explains Katie Jones, who together with husband Jean Marc, creates magic out of 60-year-old vines in under-appreciated areas of the Languedoc. "Most other growers around here wouldn’t be interested in my modest 12 hectares of vines. The sites are too small, too remote and too much like hard work. Exactly the way I like them."
Another challenge Katie thrives on is making wine from obscure grape varieties, like this organic Macabeu. Each bunch is handpicked from a tiny parcel known as Colombiers – probably one of the last remaining vineyards of this variety in the village of Tuchan where the locals preferred to plant Grenache to make their Vin Doux Naturel.
"We just asked the vines to produce a small amount of grapes each year – the flavours are concentrated and powerful with a surprising acidity for Macabeu," says Katie, who made the wine in a small 1,100 litre tank in her boutique winery. After about six days, the gentle orange colour gets extracted, before the wine was then left to age.
The result of the 2020 vintage is 450 bottles of simply gorgeous wine. Flavours of creamy custard, apple, pear crumble and hawthorn blossom are carried by a soft texture and firm richness. Katie suggests serving it at room temperature, or slightly chilled with a baked Camembert and fresh baguette to dip in.