Producer Profile: Sculpted by the famous Tramontane wind, where the Eastern-facing foothills of the Corbières mountains run astride the Mediterranean in a sierra replete with garrigue and scrub, dotted by white rockrose, once represented a kind of dream to Carolin & Nikolaus Bantlin. Originally from Germany, they’d come to this area in the south of France throughout the ‘90s to vacation, and, originally, to look for a second home. They wanted to move a family business there, after having worked for years at a big firm in Stuttgart. Around 1998, on onesuch holiday spent in the area known as the Maritime Corbières, just outside of the village Fitou, they spotted what the French call a bergerie, a sheep pasture to go alone with 7.5 hectares of vines. The concept of biodiversity came with the place, so to speak. So in 2000, they made it permanent and switched out corporate lives for that of the paysan-vigneron(ne), full-time. For the first few vintages, they would sell grapes to a friend and fellow low-intervention winemaker who lived nearby, Olivier Pithon. Eventually, in 2004, with both the vines they’d inherited with their purchase, in addition to several parcels they’d planted themselves, the winery & vineyard were ready to bear fruit fit for their own farming & vinification. 18 years on, these are expertly crafted, low-extraction wines of the rugged maritime south that seek to express the vibrant streak of this place, the sheer intensity and majesty of the mountains & sea, what originally called to Carolin & Nikolaus.
Vinification & Tasting Notes: Carignan, Grenache and Mourvèdre. Inspired by Daniel Sage's flotation method, the winemakers co-fermented the Grenache and Mourvèdre first, and then added the Carignan in whole-cluster, mid-fermentation. The result is a fresh, fruit-forward, joyful red, perfect with or without a chill, as well as a versatile companion to food.