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Côtes Catalanes IGP

Base map data ©2017 Google, Inst. Geogr. Nacional

Categories: Rancio Sec/Vi Ranci

One of the most dynamic IGPs in the greater Languedoc-Roussillon wine region, the Côtes Catalanes IGP encompasses nearly all of the Pyrénées-Orientales administrative départment and most of its appellations: Côtes du Roussillon and Côtes du Roussillon-Villages; Grand Roussillon; Maury and Maury sec; Rivesaltes and Muscat de Rivesaltes. (The diminutive Banyuls and Collioure AOPs are covered by Côte Vermeille IGP.) The climate is Mediterranean, but the terroir itself is quite varied: dark schist, granite, gneiss and clay-limestone soils along its northern slopes; dry, garrigue-scented clay, sand and gravel on the plains around Perpignan. Temperatures, some of France’s most extreme, are moderated by maritime influence and the proximity of the snow-capped Pyrénées. The best hillside slopes cool considerably at night, retaining acidity and freshness in the grapes.

Under the Côtes Catalanes IGP, independent vignerons and cooperatives produce mono-varietal expressions (e.g., Domaine Jorel Carignan ‘Male Care’) not currently endorsed under existing AOPs, as well as wines from international varieties (Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon) that have increasingly found favor amongst some growers and cooperatives. Ironically, the region’s most traditional wine, Rancio Sec - unfortified and fully-oxidized - is also its rarest and falls under the auspices of the Côtes Catalanes (and Côte Vermeille) IGP.

    Domaine de Rombeau Rancio Sec 2010

    Domaine de Rombeau Rancio Sec 2010

    FranceRoussillonCôtes Catalanes IGP

    16.5% Alc/Vol • Fully Oxidized, Oxidative

    The lightest and perhaps most "feminine" of the Rombeau Rancio secs, the 2010 is distinguished by its cepage and its shorter elevage, with an increased percentage of Macabeu and, atypically, a small amount of Muscat à Petits Grains (roughly 10%) added to the foundational Grenache blanc and Grenache gris. Vinified in tank with native yeasts, then transferred to an assortment of old barrels, foudres and glass demijohns for 12-18 months aging outdoors. A portion is then returned to the cellars, which rest above ground and lack temperature control, while another portion remains in the "barrel forest" outdoors until the time of blending and bottling. Full details

    Domaine de Rombeau Rancio Sec 2010
    Domaine de Rombeau Rancio Sec 2010
    Domaine de Rombeau Rancio Sec 2009

    Domaine de Rombeau Rancio Sec 2009

    FranceRoussillonCôtes Catalanes IGP

    16.5% Alc/Vol • Fully Oxidized, Oxidative

    The 2009 Rombeau Rancio sec is the most complete and balanced of the Rombeau Rancio secs, displaying the pronounced umami funk of 2008 with the lighter touch of 2010. It was vinified in tank with native yeasts, then transferred to an assortment of old barrels, foudres and glass demijohns for 12-18 months' aging outdoors. A portion is then returned to the cellars, which rest above ground and lack temperature control, while another portion remained in the "barrel forest" until the time of blending and bottling in mid-2016. Full details

    Domaine de Rombeau Rancio Sec 2009
    Domaine de Rombeau Rancio Sec 2009
    Domaine de Rombeau Rancio Sec 2008

    Domaine de Rombeau Rancio Sec 2008

    FranceRoussillonCôtes Catalanes IGP

    16.5% Alc/Vol • Fully Oxidized, Oxidative

    The most evolved of the Rombeau Rancio secs, the 2008 exhibits a pronounced "rancio funk" while nevertheless retaining its complexity and rough good manners. It was vinified in tank with native yeasts, then transferred to an assortment of old barrels, foudres and glass demijohns for 24 months' aging outdoors. A portion was then returned to the cellars, which rest above ground and lack temperature control, while another portion remained in the "barrel forest" until the time of blending and bottling in mid-2016. Full details

    Domaine de Rombeau Rancio Sec 2008
    Domaine de Rombeau Rancio Sec 2008
    Domaine de Sau Rancio Sec NV

    Domaine de Sau Rancio Sec NV

    FranceRoussillonCôtes Catalanes IGP

    18.5% Alc/Vol

    A blend of the 2006 and 2007 vintages, the Domaine de Saü Rancio sec is 100% Grenache gris, harvested by hand from a 1.9-hectare plot of 70-year old bush vines. Fermented with native yeasts in epoxy-line steel tanks and left for a week on its skins, its subsequent elevage takes place in one of the most magical places for oxidative wines in all of Roussillon—a former horse barn on the Château de Saü estate. Here, temperatures range from 55–80F and the Tramontana wind blows outside its wooden doors throughout the year, concentrating the wine left to rest in old 225-liter Bordelais fûts. Full details

    Domaine de Sau Rancio Sec NV
    Domaine de Sau Rancio Sec NV
    Domaine Fontanel Rancio Sec 2007

    Domaine Fontanel Rancio Sec 2007

    FranceRoussillonCôtes Catalanes IGP

    17.0% Alc/Vol • Fully Oxidized, Oxidative

    This is a rare example of what is one of the oldest forms of winemaking, once found throughout the Mediterranean and now preserved by Catalan tradition on both sides of the French-Spanish border. The grapes are hand-harvested and fermented with native yeasts, without fortification. The youngest wines informing this wine date from 1946; the oldest from 1908. Exposed to the elements and aged for many years in partially filled oak barrels, the resulting wine has what the Roussillon locals call le goût de soleil, the taste of the sun: dry and concentrated, with complex rancio flavors of walnuts, cocoa and curry spices. This wind slumbered in barrels until May 2018. Full details

    Domaine Fontanel Rancio Sec 2007
    Domaine Fontanel Rancio Sec 2007
    Domaine Jorel ‘La Garrigue’ Rancio Sec 2003

    Domaine Jorel ‘La Garrigue’ Rancio Sec 2003

    FranceRoussillonCôtes Catalanes IGP

    16.0% Alc/Vol • Fully Oxidized, Oxidative

    Manuel Jorel’s first Rancio sec was the result of the scorching 2003 vintage and amongst the most unique in the Sotolon Selections portfolio. His small parcel of Macabeu grapes began to shrivel on the vine; he picked the grapes and set about making an ‘orange wine’ with them, leaving the emerging wine on the skins for 28 days. It began to oxidize and he feared the wine lost, but with the advice of an old-timer, he racked the wine into old Rivesaltes casks in the corner of his second cellar (which then doubled as a garage, or garrique). Full details

    Domaine Jorel ‘La Garrigue’ Rancio Sec 2003
    Domaine Jorel ‘La Garrigue’ Rancio Sec 2003
    Mas Peyre ‘Le Démon de Midi’ Rancio Sec NV

    Mas Peyre ‘Le Démon de Midi’ Rancio Sec NV

    FranceRoussillonCôtes Catalanes IGP

    17.0% Alc/Vol • Fully Oxidized, Oxidative

    The Bourrel family inaugurated this solera of overripe, old-vine Macabeu grapes in 2005. Grapes are harvested by hand at 254 g/l residual sugar and, placed into the first of three barrels, are allowed to slowly ferment to dryness. Subsequent elevage in the partially-filled barrels creates an oxidative environment; bottled at an average of six years of age, the ‘Démon de Midi’ (noonday demon) takes on notes of almond, garrigue honey and leather, with a touch of salt emerging at the finish. Full details

    Mas Peyre ‘Le Démon de Midi’ Rancio Sec NV
    Mas Peyre ‘Le Démon de Midi’ Rancio Sec NV
    Puig-Parahÿ ‘Pyror’ Rancio Sec NV

    Puig-Parahÿ ‘Pyror’ Rancio Sec NV

    FranceRoussillonCôtes Catalanes IGP

    18.5% Alc/Vol • Fully Oxidized, Oxidative

    The barrels that winemaker Georges Puig blends to produce ‘Pyror’ were first set down in the early 1960s by his father and grandfather, and have been maintained as "perpetual barrels" ever since, with small amounts withdrawn every few years. The wine—equal parts Grenache blanc, Grenache gris and Macabeu—slowly concentrates in the ancient oak and chestnut barrels, gaining a particular combination of polish and rusticity. Full details

    Puig-Parahÿ ‘Pyror’ Rancio Sec NV
    Puig-Parahÿ ‘Pyror’ Rancio Sec NV
    Tresmontaine ‘Tabacal Dos’ Rancio

    Tresmontaine ‘Tabacal Dos’ Rancio

    FranceRoussillonCôtes Catalanes IGP

    17.0% Alc/Vol • Fully Oxidized, Oxidative

    A Catalan tradition, Rancio wines such as this predate the modern conception of wine and viticulture. This wine’s rustic character begins with a full fermentation and evolves first in glass demijohns and then in used oak barrels, which are partially filled and often out in the sun. Owing to the process, the climate, and character of the grapes, the wine is oxidative and rich with earth, smoke and mushroom notes. This wine has aged over 5 years in barrels that formerly housed the eponymous wine of its village, lending a unique depth. Enjoy with cured meats and cheeses, or with rich creamy desserts. Serve either lightly chilled or at cellar temperature. Full details

    Tresmontaine ‘Tabacal Dos’ Rancio
    Tresmontaine ‘Tabacal Dos’ Rancio
    Tresmontaine ‘Tabacal’ Rancio NV

    Tresmontaine ‘Tabacal’ Rancio NV

    FranceRoussillonCôtes Catalanes IGP

    17.0% Alc/Vol • Fully Oxidized, Oxidative

    Tresmontaine ‘Tabacal’ Rancio is the last Rancio produced by legendary Roussillon winemaker Fernand Baixas at Arnaud de Villeneuve, prior to his "retirement." (He can now be found with other raconteurs at nearby Domaine de Rombeau.) The blend is 100% Grenache blanc from the 2002 and 2003 vintages, exposed to the elements in glass demijohns for 18 months, then returned to the cellars to rest in old foudres and barrique for an additional 10 years. Full details

    Tresmontaine ‘Tabacal’ Rancio NV
    Tresmontaine ‘Tabacal’ Rancio NV