Producer Profile: The career of an organic farming consultant seems like it would make a much smoother and more logical transition to the life of low-intervention winegrowing than most other winemakers we profile who come from all manner of amazingly varied backgrounds; for Benoit Arletaz, this kind of winemaking seems to make almost too much sense. Hailing from a winemaking family in the nearby Languedoc (he now works in Opoul-Périllos in the Roussillon), Benoit only started really learning about winegrowing in 2007 when he traded out the organic agricultural consultantship for an apprenticeship at Château de Gaure in the (similarly southerly) Corbières. He’d go on to spend seven years working in the vines and cellar here, leaving with sole responsibility for how the wines were made – he had completed as full an education in this niche field as possible before the opportunity to have his own vines/cellar, finally, in the year 2014. Working with 2 hectares of vines outside the small village of Opoul-Périllos (which rests snuggly between the two fearsome mountain ranges of this area – the Pyrenées to the South and the Corbières to the North), Benoit deals with the typical varieties of the region like Grenaches Gris/Blanc/Noir, Carignan, Syrah, Mourvedre, & Macabeu, all grown on vines 60+ years old, some on 100+ year-old vines, upland in the slightly more forested hills from the village center. Fresher, aromatic, and textural – that Tramontane-carried minerality – these are absolutely lovely Roussillon delights.
Vinification & Tasting: 100% Mourvèdre from organically farmed vines in Roussillon. The grapes are hand-harvested and direct pressed into stainless steel. Bottled unfined, unfiltered with no SO2. One to lament warmer days past… Aromatic, strawberry jello, ripe summer berries and slapping acidity.