La Bancale Fleuve Rouge


1 in stock

Vintage: 2021
Region: Roussillon, France
Viticulture: Organic
Grape varieties: 60% Grenache Noir, 40% Syrah

La Bancale Fleuve Rouge is full of concentrated cherries with sweet spices, a good amount of flowing acidity, very precise, light, and clean.

Song: Sweet Revenge by John Prine

1 in stock

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About La Bancale Fleuve Rouge

La Bancale Fleuve Rouge is full of concentrated cherries with sweet spices, a good amount of flowing acidity, very precise, light, and clean. This is a beautiful wine.

The Syrah was harvested on September 3rd and the Grenache Noir on September 4th. Each variety is whole cluster fermented separately in stainless steel tanks. The Syrah was pressed on the 8th day and finished alcoholic fermentation on the 12th day. The Grenache Noir was pressed on the 7th day and finished alcoholic fermentation on the 16th day. The Syrah and Grenache Noir were blended at the end of September and transferred to large neutral vats. After the completion of malolactic fermentation, the wine is racked, and a low dose of sulfur is added. Aged in large neutral vats for 6 months.

About La Bancale

La Bancale is quite literally wedged between the Corbières Mountains and the northern rim of the snowcapped Pyrenees. This is a land of geological and climatic extremes. Amidst this dramatic scenery, nestled in the foothills of the Fenouillèdes at the western end of the Agly Valley, is the small village of Saint-Paul-de-Fenouillet. Here, in a tiny cellar under their warm and inviting home, Bastien Baillet and Céline Schuers are crafting some of the most unique wines in Southern France.

Transplants from Northern France, Bastien and Céline met as teenagers. Both lovers of nature and of working with their hands, they moved to the Languedoc in their early twenties to study and work in agriculture. Bastien studied viticulture in Montpellier and they both worked at domaines throughout the Languedoc and the Roussillon. Early on they developed a passion for the native varieties and old bush vine vineyards of Southern France. It was their love of old vine Carignan that led to apprenticeships with Jean-Louis Tribouley and Domaine de l’Ausseil, in the village of Latour-de-France at the eastern end of the Agly Valley. Struck by the incredibly complex terroirs and cooler climate of the Fenouillèdes, Bastien and Céline saw an ideal place to craft balanced, terroir-expressive wines from native grape varieties. They set out to find vineyards of their own and in 2014 purchased just over 1 hectare of old vines.

Bastien and Céline have methodically added small plots of old vines over the past five years and today they farm a little under 5 hectares, spread over multiple parcels in 5 different communes. Nearly all their vineyards are planted with native, 70-plus-year-old, head-trained bush vines. The three exceptions are a little Syrah that is trellised, two plots of Macabeu planted in 1980, and some younger vine Grenache Gris. All vineyards are farmed according to Organic principles, and the domaine is in the conversion process for Organic certification (ECOCERT). Other than some light tilling by tractor, all work in the vineyards is done by hand. The soils are predominantly decomposed granite or black schist and marl. Several of the parcels are co-planted to multiple red and white varieties. Particularly interesting, is an 80-year-old, .20-hectare vineyard planted to Carignan Noir, Grenache Gris, Macabeu, Carignan Gris, and Tourbat that is harvested together, co-fermented and bottled as a single vineyard.

The focus at La Bancale is expressing the Domaine’s unique terroirs, and the quality of the Roussillon’s indigenous grape varieties. Bastien and Céline feel this is best accomplished by making wine as naturally as possible, meaning meticulous organic farming and a hands-off approach in the cellar. Apart from minimal sulfur additions, less than 30 ppm, there are no enological additions to the wines. Winemaking here is about as low-tech as it gets, with everything from pump overs (by bucket) to bottling done completely by hand. New oak is not used. Vinification and maturation are in stainless-steel tanks or used French oak barrels. Bastien has become very adept at utilizing co-fermentation, and the technique is employed on both whites and reds.

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