Mark Haynes is an Englishman with a wine estate in the village Aubais outside Nimes. His wines are usually IGP Pays d’Oc. He bought ten hectares back in 2002, which he is now in the process of converting to organic viticulture.. I enjoyed the wines of Aubai Mema and thought they deserved to be better known. Mark would say that he aims for ‘minimum intervention and maximum expression’.
2010 Albion, a blend of Chardonnay and Viognier - 12.00€
Light colour; delicate nose, lightly buttery, with a peachy hint from the Viognier, and a firm finish.
More characterful was a Chardonnay vin de table, with some ripe leesy fruit. Mark gives it lots of lees stirring in vat and it has some lovely textured flavours. A Chardonnay with an attitude. 7.50€
2010 Liverna – 6.00€
A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 20% Grenache and 10% Merlot, kept in old wood. Designed for easy drinking, with some ripe fruit, soft tannins and a rounded finish.
2010 L’Insoumise – 9.00€
From 60 year old Carignan vines. Half maceration carbonique and half a traditional fermentation, in old wood. Quite firm and structured, with a tannin streak, balanced with some fresh cherry fruit. Some ageing potential.
2008 Grenade – 9.00€
From old Grenache vines, 55 years or more. Spends six months in wood. Some cherry fruit on the nose, with a touch of oak, and more oak on the palate.
I preferred the 2010 Grenade, with was fresher and riper, with more integrated oak.
2006 La Douzième - 12.00€
Syrah with a touch of Viognier, co-fermented, as in Côte Rôtie. Quite a firm leathery nose, with some ripe spicy fruit, and more leathery notes on the palate. Still quite youthful, with a streak of tannin. Mark was still using 225 litres barriques in 2006. For his 2010 he used only demi-muids of 500 litres.
The 2010 was more perfumed on the nose, with some ripe spicy fruit. Quite a fleshy palate, ripe and perfumed. Some of the Syrah, two barrels worth, was fermented by carbonic maceration, which may enhance the perfume.
2009 Lunatico, Vin de France. 24€
From old Grenache, 55 years or more, grown on north facing slopes, given 18 months élevage. Medium colour; elegantly understated nose and palate. Very good balance of fruit and oak. A tannic streak. Plenty of potential for development in the bottle.