If you know, you know – and for Marc Castan, he knew. In his telling, it would seem the moment he graduated from high school he headed straight for the vines. Winemaking is in his family, sure – his grandfather a vigneron – but this kind of insistent pull to the grapevine leaves the impression that this trade is exactly what he was meant to be doing (and above this, what he only ever has wanted to be doing). In this, he holds a special kind of kinship with the chosen name of his winemaking operation, “Mămărutá” which is Romanian for ‘Ladybug.’ The nearly universal thinking of ladybugs as good-luck-charms aside, the pretty little beetle is an especially fitting choice for a natural winery’s mascot. It can be seen as, in Marc’s own words, “the symbol for organic farming!” They are the diminutive guardians of a healthful farm, helping – among other things – rid a vineyard of aphids and mites. In this way, ladybugs with both their spiritual and biological connection to a biodynamically functioning vineyard, recall the fated draw to the vines of Marc Castan. And so the wines reflect a sense of certainty and forthrightness – they are honest and unique, light and maritime wines from a supremely hot spot on the coast of Occitanie, just south of Narbonne, the city where Marc was born. Along with his beloved cows that help fertilize and mow the grasses that spring up around and throughout his farm, Marc Castan, from the plain of Narbonnais, is making some of the most joyous juice in the Aude today (region: Occitanie, historically the border of where the Languedoc meets the Roussillon).
Vinification: A blend of certified organic 40% Carignan, with equal amounts of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. The grapes go through a seven day whole cluster maceration in stainless steel and are then moved into used barrels to finish fermentation. This is followed by a short aging period of five months in the same barrel. Unfined, unfiltered, with a touch of sulphur at bottling.
Tasting: Bright, fresh, light-bodied red. Red cherry, singing acidity and some fleshy plum fruit to hold it all together. Definition of glou-glou. Lightly reductive upon opening, so give it a shake or decant and it will blow off.