– Very low yields from 70 to 100 year old vines (nearly all Carignan with some Grenache), meticulous grape selection in the vineyard, gentle extraction (more like infusion), sensitive handling of oak (10 months in 500ltr and older barriques), and minimal sulphur, combine to produce this extraordinary wine. Exuding spicy black fruits with liquorice and a notable mineral freshness, it has an exceptional texture and suppleness with great balance and length. Unfined and unfiltered. Magic and a bargain for what it is
Natural composts and biodynamic treatments have revitalized the soil, and plants and flowers among the vines bring beneficial insects and a diverse fauna – the mountainside vineyards have a magical quality and seem to blend in with the surrounding sparse vegetation.
The domaine consists of 6 hectares of hillsides, planted mainly with carignan (3 ha), as well as grenache and cinsault for reds, and maccabeu for whites.These are very typical grapes of Roussillon, however many vineyards in the area were scrubbed up and replanted with Syrah during the seventies and eighties. Indeed, in 1977, the decree of the Côtes-du-Roussillon Villages AC requires a minimum of 30 % of syrah and/or mourvèdre. A fervent defender of the autochtonous grapes, giving character and typicity to the wines, Cyril Fhal prefers the mention “Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes”, rather than comply with this decree which holds no attraction for him. Most of Cyril’s vines are between 50 and 100 years old. A rocky soil based upon gneiss, at an altitude that averages from 200 to 250 metres, and an exposition to the North are a few of the conditions which assure freshness in his wines.
Yields at Clos Rouge Gorge are normally 10 to 20 hl/ha, harvesting is by hand into small baskets, light crushing by foot is followed by slow fermentations (traditional, not carbonic maceration) with no extraction, alcoholic and malo-lactic fermentation in barrel.