The amazing story of the Domaine du Roc des Anges starts here…
It is the beginning of the adventure, on a nice winter day of 2001. The couple just got married. While determined to settle down in Montner (or « Mont Noir »), not far from her husband’s workplace, Marjorie starts a revealing training experience in a renowned estate of Calce, an experience that will open the doors to biodynamics and Mediterranean farming practices that are designed to be in harmony with the different forms and forces of nature. A whole new world of grape varieties with unsuspected characteristics, such as carignan, grenache or macabeu, opens up to her.
Soon after, Marjorie paves the way for what will become in 10 years time one of the flagship estates of Southern France. Determined and persevering by nature, she manages three plots alone, among which a little gem of venerable carignan vines – « Lo Roc Blanc » -, a magical place of only one hectare made up of a vein of white quartz surrounded by a sea of black schists. « Right away, explains Marjorie, we thought of « Le Roc Blanc » (“The White Roc”) for the estate’s name, but that name was already taken. So we decided to name it « Le Roc des Anges » (“The Angels’ Rock”).
This « Roc Blanc », renamed « Roc des Anges », will be the symbol of an estate that today encompasses approximately 30 ha divided into 50 different plots. It will also be the symbol of a lifetime commitment because in the meantime, Stéphane came back to work full-time at the estate to build the common dream of the Gallets.Marjorie and Stéphane Gallet are not fans of radical farming practices. Over the last ten years, the vineyards have progressively gone from “reasoned” to organic farming. Since the beginning of 2011, both estates are farmed biodynamically.
« We contracted the services of Jacques Mell, a consultant based in Champagne, says Stéphane Gallet. He helps us to go one step further, to broaden our perspective, and to have a more subtle approach of the soil and the vines ».
Marjorie adds: « Over the years we have come to understand the influence of cosmic and terrestrial forces on living things, the need for self-sustained and natural soils, to produce stronger and higher quality grapes, in order to yield wines that are livelier, more vibrant… ».
With such diversity in the vineyard, it is logical that the field work be planned according to each plot’s identity. It is also important to consider the age of the vines: « gentle » soil ploughing, as to not wound the old vine plants.
This is generally performed two to three times a year, once in winter and twice in spring, with the help of a small « crawler tractor » or a horse, although there is no strict protocol and « we even experiment not ploughing the soils on the hardest schists, allowing the grass to grow freely before mowing with a weed-eater ».
Terroir: light topsoil of very old schist derived from the compaction of pure clay, high in silica. Northern slope of Força Réal, village of Montner, Pyrénées-Orientales/ northern catalunya.
Vine age: up to 40 year-old until 100 year-old.
Vine culture : organic – biodynamic
The 2011 Domaine Le Roc des Anges Reliefs is a blend of 60 per cent carignan, 25 per cent grenache and 15 per cent syrah. It is rich, ripe and dark with licorice and wild mountain grasses, and an assertive vinous presence full of cherry fruits. With little in the way of oak, it has a very strong terroir-driven style. The palate is supple, deep and fleshy with sheets of shimmering tannin, great driving depth, cherry and dark chocolate flavours and a
full, juicy and balanced finish. Vines here vary from 40 to 100 years of age. The single parcel 2011 Domaine Le Roc des Anges 1903 smells accessible, open and fragrant with charming perfume and some nutty savouriness, hints of meat and swirling sweet fine spice, plums, superdark cherries, and a little stony edge, too.
The palate is striking, drilling itself into place with dense tannins. It issues layers of fleshy fruit, luxurious dark plum and black cherry flavours through to a spiced chocolate finish. A captivating wine, that is very concentrated and yet approachable made from vines that were planted in 1903. The pick for me is the 2012 Domaine Le Roc des Anges Las Trabasseres another single site on schist, there are just 1500 bottles made. Entrancingly fragrant with purple flowers, nicely integrated spice and inky nuances. It’s all very concentrated. Richness and depth, dark berries and plums, it is also impressively fresh. The palate is reflective of the schist terroir with slate-like sheets of tannin, glassy and shimmering, superb depth and density, but balanced and even, too. These old vine tannins hold long
and true with blue fruits, damson plums and dark chocolate flavours lasting right through to the finish.
Nick Stock Gourmet Traveller 2014 June Issue ” Imports to Watch “
3 *** Revue Des Vins De France