Katie Jones was at her importers’ portfolio tasting the other day, pouring her wines with usual exuberant enthusiasm. She is somebody who I always enjoy seeing.
On her table, she had just four wines, and then I found another couple on the free pour tables. Prices are recommended retail prices in the UK.
2017 Grenache Gris, Côtes Catalanes - £16.00
The merest hint of colour. Quite a delicate nose, with a rounded, textured palate. Layered with satisfying mouthfeel. Rounded with a long finish.
2017 Grenache Noir, Côtes Catalanes – £16.00
Katie was enthusing about changes in her vinification methods, and she now gives the Grenache Noir a cold soak for 48 hours, followed by a 10-day maceration. The cold soak makes for more fruit and soften the tannins, and this wine certainly had some bright juicy fruit. It was very fragrant with supple tannins. Not for nothing is Grenache Noir sometimes called the Pinot Noir of the south.
2017 Fitou - £16.00
A blend of 40% Carignan, with a five-week maceration; 30% Syrah, and 30% Grenache, again with a cold soak. It was deep in colour, with a rich rounded nose, and on the palate, rich warm fruit, and spice, balanced with some tannin.
2016 Carignan, Vin de France – £24.00
From 110-year-old vines, that managed a 25 hl/h yield. The label does not say Domaine Jones, as you cannot use a domaine name for a Vin de France; for that it must be IGP, so it simply says Katie Jones. Quite a solid nose, with rounded fruit. And on the palate, quite dense with tannin and ripe fruit. Quite a solid mouthful. The 2017 vintage is given a long five-week maceration; this was just ten days. It will be interesting to taste the difference.
2018 Along Came Jones, Hairy leaf Grenache, or Lledoner Pelut, Vin de France – £16.95
Medium colour. Quite ripe and rounded, with fragrant spicy fruit and liqueur cherries. A fresh rounded finish. It would have been interesting to have compared the classic Grenache and its distant cousin side by side, but this was on the free pour table.
2018 Katie Jones Rosé, Vin de France - £12.00
Pretty pale colour. Rounded dry raspberry nose. Good weight on the palate, without being too heavy and vinous, with a refreshing dry finish.