"L'Ubac" Clos du Rouge Gorge (Photo: E. Lillie)

Great Natural Wines from Cyril Fhal, Clos du Rouge Gorge!

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We are proud to offer wines from one of the finest producers of natural/biodynamic wines in France, Cyril Fhal at Clos du Rouge Gorge.

The wines of the Clos du Rouge Gorge are elegant, balanced and full of character, perhaps the finest from the new generation of wine-makers in the Languedoc-Roussillon. They are products of living soils, uniquely beautiful with pure silky fruit, moderate levels of alcohol and firm acidity - delicious examples of the indigenous grapes of the Roussillon. Cyril Fhal came to the Roussillon from the Loire Valley and found small parcels of north-facing hillside vineyards on gneiss, near the village of Latour-de-France, about 20 miles north-west of Perpignan, with the soil, exposure and altitude of the vines giving freshness and minerality to the wines. The vines have been tended in biodynamic farming from the beginning, with light plowing by hand, horse or rototiller. Natural composts and biodynamic treatments have revitalized the soil, and plants and flowers among the vines bring beneficial insects and a diverse fauna - the mountainside vineyards have a magical quality and seem to blend in with the surrounding sparse vegetation. Cyril rejected the AOC regulations of the Roussillon, which require 30% Syrah or Mourvedre, not indigenous to the region, "which by their excess of maturity and lack of acidity in this climat, result in fat and heavy wines," thus his reds from the local Carignan and Grenache are Vins de Pays Cote Catalanes. The local Macabeo for the white is the most apt, according to Cyril, at expressing the mineral character of the soil 'with a certain transparency." Yields at Clos Rouge Gorge are normally 10 to 20 hl/ha, harvesting is by hand into small baskets, light crushing by foot is followed by slow fermentations (traditional, not carbonic maceration) with no extraction, alcoholic and malo-lactic fermentation in barrel.  These are wines of great purity and finesse that combine delicacy and power - bravo to Cyril Fhal for his superb work in the vineyard and cellar! (Taste the wines soon at Racines NY!)

Rouge Gorge (Cyril Fhal) 2013 VdP des Côtes Catalanes Blanc (Macabeo) NFS

Primarily Macabeo from 80 year-old vines, on gneiss facing north and east, aged without bâtonnage in used 500-liter barriques, keeping a bit of CO2. "I work with Macabeo as it seems able to transmit the minerality with a certain transparency. Grenache Blanc would have, for me, a tendency to bring a bit too much fat and roundness on my terroirs." 2013 is another excellent vintage for the Rouge Gorge Blanc, certainly one of the most distinctive whites from the South of France. The wine shows ethereal aromas of stone, citrus peel, mint, pear and clove. The palate is all saline minerals with hints of citrus and pear, with an almost bitter finish of citrus and saline acids. Bracing and delicious now, best to wait 3 to 5 years for this beautiful wine of terroir to open... DL

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $28.99

Rouge Gorge (Cyril Fhal) 2013 VdP des Côtes Catalanes Jeunes Vignes

A profound and insanely delicious wine! From 30 year-old Grenache vines in a parcel on gneiss subsoil called Mont-Redon. Hand-harvested into small baskets, foot pressing followed by three month vinification in wooden vats, then 8 months aging in stainless steel. "An infusion of grapes, allowing an expression of the delicacy of the variety," says Cyril. Slight reduction, then ripe, complex aromas of blackberry, black-cherry, citrus, violet, plum skin and earth. Intense fruit on the fresh, medium-bodied palate, with blackberry and tart black-cherry, licorice, meat and earth, silky texture with lively acidity and fabulous length. Needs 2 - 3 hours to open, or hold 3 to 5 years. Sorry but we can only sell 3 bottles to each customer. (Oddly enough there is more inventory available of Vieilles Vignes and Ubac)

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $23.99

Clos du Rouge Gorge (Cyril Fhal) 2012 VdP des Côtes Catalanes Vieilles Vignes

80% Carignan, 20% Grenache, from  50 to 100 year-old vines on north and east facing slopes on terroir of gneiss. Yields of 15 to 20 hl/ha. Light foot pressing, whole bunch fermentation in wooden vats. Light extraction at low temperature, no pumping over or cap punching, 12 months in 500 liter barrel and old barriques. Bottled unfiltered, by gravity, total SO2 less than 20 mg/liter. Tasted in February 2014, before bottling, the wine showed gorgeous, bright black fruits with floral notes with fabulous elegance and length. On arrival in NY, the wine has tightened and will need decanting to show at it's best, but it's obviously a superb wine that will repay medium-term aging. Aromas of ripe blackberry and black-cherry, with violet, earth and stone. Dense fruit on the palate, medium-bodied and velvety with blackberry, cherry liqueur, licorice, earth and citrus with smoky fruit and minerals in the finish. Decant if drinking now, best after 3 to 5 years. DL

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $34.99

Clos du Rouge Gorge (Cyril Fhal) 2012 VdP des Côtes Catalanes L'Ubac

"From one of those rare parcels of Cinsault du Roussillon on a correct terroir. This variety, which made the reputation of certain wines of the South before phylloxera, has been neglected or badly planted since. Ubac is a parcel on a 70% slope of gneiss facing due north with 40 year-old vines worked by hand and by horse. It's the Pinot Noir of the South for me! Fine material, very delicate, with length and a strong signature of the terroir. Whole berry maceration of ten days, then foot-tread and put in vat, with stems for the fine tannins they provide. 20 month aging in Austrian demi-muid, bottled by gravity."  (Yields of 15 Hl/Ha, approx 20 mg SO2, 14% alc) 2012 looks to be a great vintage for L'Ubac. Tasted before bottling, the wine showed superb elegance and structure with fabulous length - opened on arrival in NY, the wine shows slight reduction then hints of cool blackberry and red-currant fruit with bitter chocolate and earth, but really quite closed. The palate is quite intense with deep black fruits, very firm acidity and fine tannins with dusty stone in the finish. No gobs here, but a sense of power and elegance to come. This is certainly one of the most interesting and profound reds from the South of France. Not for current drinking, probably best 2020 to 2030. DL

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $51.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur