For Saskia van der Horn of Domaine Les Arabesques, her path to the vineyard cut first through restaurants. Working as a sommelier in London, she decided to head for something else, namely in Burgundy: oenology. Saskia completed her 2-year degree which was followed by some impressive apprenticeships before eventually landing in an ancient region of France. An area with deep history, worn in the roots of this place, the Roussillon where France meets Spain has been known by many names. What has remained constant through the centuries, however, are the topographical features of this place. Between the Corbiéres mountains and the Pyrénees, among the many smaller rivers - the Têt, the Tech, the Agly - set against the floodplains and narrow valleys, Saskia farms 4.5 hectares of vines across three different communes, which means three different soil types. Schist in Montner, marl slate in Plázenes, gneiss granite in Latour-de-France. Practicing biodynamic, these are precise wines with the touch of elegance and wildness you’d expect from an expert winemaker working in this totally singular setting.
Tasting Notes: Woodsy, meaty and smokey on the nose. Palate is like balsamic drizzled over perfect summer strawberries. Chalky, easy tannins. A youthful, fresh syrah.
Vinification: 100% Syrah, hand-harvested from 30-60 year-old vines grown in the calcareous/clay/gneiss soils of her Estagel (Latour-de-France) vineyard site. The grapes undergo spontaneous fermentation with only the help of native yeasts in fiberglass tanks. The juice is then aged in old barriques for a period of months before bottling. Unfined, unfiltered, with minimal SO2. 13% ABV