Producer Profile: It was an advertisement in a newspaper, of all things. Imagine for yourself: scrolling through the classifieds at the back of your local periodical and coming across an ad placed for the sale of an eight hectare plot of organic vines planted in your hometown. For most of us, nearly all of that is impossible to imagine at present, starting with reading a real, physical newspaper. But, for Raphaël Colin of Domaine Blanc Plume, at age 35, this was what spurred a sea change for his career and his life. Returning to the region where he grew up – the Agly Valley amidst the foothills of the Pyrenées Orientales, the appellation known as the Côtes Catalanes – must have felt ordained in a way. Just as he was becoming interested in wines crafted from Vignerons-en-Biodynamie around France, this opportunity to return home and start up felt nearly too good to be true. Working in the heart of the Corbières Fenouillèdes Regional Natural Park, Domaine Blanc Plume (Raphaël and his brother Rémy) works with Chardonnay, Cab Franc, Cab Sauv, Carignan, and Syrah spread throughout two distinct sites, one of them notable for its proximity to the Sant Jaume waterway. Following the conceptual framework of the project’s aim for biodiversity, the estate is named after the Red Kite, a bird of prey with a white streak in its wings’ feathers. The Red Kite is from the same family as the Buzzard, both notable as symbols of vineyard protection and guardianship. Fascinating and fresh wines from a typically hot region given a cooler, more forested feel in the higher elevations of the regional park.
Vinification: 50% Syrah, 40% Cabernet Franc and 10% Chardonnay from sandy, clay and alkaline soils. Grapes were hand-harvested and direct pressed into stainless steel. Bottled unfined with a touch of sulphur.
Tasting: Dark, shimmering pink in the glass. Medium-bodied and heavily red-fruited, almost reminiscent of red jello. Delicate structure and a slight hint of peppery spice solidifies this wine's place in the "Autumn Rosé" category. Serve with a green salad or a heartier side dish like mac and cheese: she's versatile!