Marc Barriot of Clot de l’Origine has very original take on winemaking. Quite simply, he has ten hectares of red grapes, and two of white, but 90% of his wines are white! He thinks nothing of vinifying black grapes like white wine grapes to make white wine, and of blending them with white grapes. All his wines are Vin de France and he favours minimum use of sulphur.
He is a relative newcomer to Maury, coming from Bandol where vineyard land is much too expensive to consider creating a wine estate there and he observes the Roussillon wine scene with the dispassionate eyes of an outsider. He is not afraid voice his opinion, and opinionated he is, insisting amongst other things on significantly lower alcohol levels than the average wine from Roussillon. ‘I make wines I want to drink’, he asserts. It all makes for a fun cellar visit.
Back in London, escaping from Roussillon just as President Macron imposed stringent lockdown measures, I needed a couple of samples for a forthcoming article and Marc’s importers, Raeburn Fine Wines in Edinburgh were very happy to oblige. The prices are their retail price.
2017 L’Original, Vin de France - £18.55
This is indeed original, a blend of 80% white Macabeo blended with 20% Merlot, vinifié en blanc. The wine is a pale yellow, with quite a firm dry nose, but with some apple notes on the palate. There was good acidity and it was very refreshing, and a light 12.5°. I have to admit that chez Marc I tried the 2019 and I found that more incisive, with firm stony fruit. It was more linear whereas the 2017 was more rounded in the palate.
2016 Soif de Plaisir, Vin de France - £18.55
A blend of Carignan from 80 year old vines from Calce, with Syrah from young vines, in equal proportions. Quite a deep young colour and fresh peppery notes on both nose and palate. It was nicely balanced with an appealing freshness, and maybe just what I would call a natural edge with a hint of volatile acidity, but it was none the worse for that, and went a treat with some sausages.