|Producer||Domaine Faillenc Sainte-Marie|
|Varietal||Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault|
This is a wine with enormous character often showing a rustic, somewhat “animal” aspect married to a vivacious wild berry symphony of aromas and flavors. This wine is aged entirely in tank without exposure to barrel aging. The severe weather conditions that are present restrict yields and produce a highly concentrated wine that has a track record for ageability.
"I’m drawn to Faillenc Sainte Marie because, in a world of overly polished wines, this is an old school, rough and rustic red that reminds me of the sort of bottles I used to find from the south of France when I was learning about wine in the 1980s. Call it nostalgia if you like, and maybe it is. But this bottle, an equal blend of syrah, grenache and cinsault fermented together, is herbal, fruity and tannic, a wine without makeup or artifice." From The New York Times 20 Wines Under $20: Finding Bargains Amid Inflation -Eric Asimov
Faillenc Sainte-Marie is a small property, with only eight hectares of vineyards stubbornly clinging to the rocky foothills of Mont Alaric. The vineyards are buffeted by the northerwesterly Tramontane wind which blows over Alaric and by the southerly Autan breezes coming off the nearby Mediterranean, creating an extremely dry climate. Syrah, Grenache Noir, and Cinsault are the red grape varieties raised here. A small vineyard (1 hectare) is devoted to white grapes: Roussanne, Macabeu, Bourboulenc and Clairette. The terroir is composed of inhospitable, rocky limestone terraces. Only vines, olive trees and some scraggly brush survive under these harsh conditions. As a result, yields are naturally low. The grapes are strongly marked by their environment and this powerful character shows through in the wines. The charming, quirky personality, sense of humor and creativity of Dominique Gibert, as well as the sensitive and diligent vineyard work of his wife, Marie-Thérèse Gibert, also mark these wines, both in their style and in their names and labels (all designed by Dominique who is a practicing architect as well as vigneron).
Jean-Baptiste Gibert, son of Dominique and Marie-Thérèse, has now taken command of the domaine and has taken the steps necessary to have the vineyards certified organic. He has also expanded the estate and will increase the number of wines produced at Faillenc.
From a field blend of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault, the harvest is partially destemmed before going into the fermentation tanks. The different cépages are fermented together, benefiting from the long maceration period to extract the maximum of flavors and allow them to harmonize before being pressed and aged.