A blend of mainly Macabeu with Grenache Gris and a touch of Grenache Blanc, from 85 years old vines and older, grown on limestone soil. An amazing nose that displays cool aromas of fennel, tropical fruit and nuts and all the character and weight of Grand Cru Chablis. There is a very attractive reductive quality to this wine that recalls the fabulous Meursault’s of Coche-Dury.
The Domaine de l’Horizon, founded in 2006 by Thomas Teibert and the Christ family, is located in Calce at the foot of the Pyrenees, near Perpignan. The 14 hectares of vineyards are planted with indigenous grape varieties of the region. The vines are between 40 and 100 years old. The wild naturalness and the widespread fragrant Garriques give the wines their original natural character.
When Thomas started out in the Roussillon, he was well known as the agent for Austrian Franz Stockinger’s celebrated barrels and this enabled him to meet winemakers such as Gerard Gauby (Domaine Gauby) and Tom Lubbe (Matassa) who shared their knowledge and ideas with him which he turned into wine.
All vines are farmed organically (certified by Biodyvin) incorporating biodynamic principles
Under vine currently is Macabeu (4 ha), Grenache Gris & Blanc (2 ha), Muscat petit Grain (2 ha) Carignan Noir (4,5 ha), Grenache Noir (2 ha), Syrah (0,5 ha) all planted as bush vines at a density of 3500 vines per hectare. Importantly the average age of vines is 65-70 years – with 4 hectares 100 years old and average yields of 9 to 12 hectolitres/hectare !
Grapes are hand harvested with severe sorting in the vineyard into 20kg boxes. In the winery the grapes are partly de-stemmed with no crushing and are fermented using natural yeasts in open vats (wood or cement) with very little extraction (pigeage) over 10-15 days. After pressing, élevage is for 12 months in larger barrels of 500 – 600 litres & foudres of 12 to 30 hectolitres.
This are seriously brilliant wines that importantly display freshness, vigour and clarity in a region prone to dullness— indeed they have that little bit of magic that really does set them apart. This is one estate that deserves it’s serious following.