The natural wine movement is many things to many people, but the one thing it seems to run on is nicotine cigarettes: not the most natural product, by any means. Someone whose smoking is altogether more ‘natural’, I suspect, is Loic Roare of Domaine du Possible.
When we turned up at his incredible home in the old disused co-op at Lansac, he came across as someone who enjoys nothing more then a glass of wine, a joint, and some choice Hendrix in the evening. And you know what? He works hard enough to deserve the break.
He installed his tanks in 2003 in the disused building in Lansac (outside Perpignon in the eastern Pyrenees). Here he vinifies fruit from 6.5 hectares of vines: one third from Latour de France and the rest from nearby Rasigueres, Belesta a Asagnes and Lesquede. He works without herbicides or pesticides and uses a combination of herbal infusions and hard toil in the vineyards to control yields and diseases. In the winery, the wines are not subjected to pumping; everything is done with gravity. A natural fermentation occurs and the wines are carefully brought up. Zero or minimal sulphur is added, depending on the wine and the vintage. He does everything he can to faithfully represent this wild and untamed terroir; it is so difficult to work, one of his vendagers said it was like working in Tajikstan.
His wines are listed at some of the best boutiques and restaurants in Paris, and the forward-thinking, adventurous drinker who buys a bottle will be repaid with a wine they won’t be able to put down.
In the words of Loic himself, when describing one of his wines, ‘You drink, and it’s a bit like “tac, tac, tac, ba ba ba ba ba-de-ba”.’*
We are listing 4 wines from Loic at the moment, which are:
A dry, very, very slightly effervescent white of 70% Macabeo, synonymous with Viura (of white Rioja fame), and 30% Grenache Gris. Tasting it, you’re immediately aware that you’re just a hop from Spain: there’s a vivacious energy to the wine’s flavours of root and rocks and citrus that give it such vitality.
C’EST PAS LA MER À BOIRE
The nearest translation seems to be: ‘It’s not rocket science’ or, more literally, ‘it’s not the sea to drink’. A 60% Grenache, 30% Carignan, 10% Mourvedre blend made in a carbonic maceration style. Again, vibrancy, lightness and freshness are key notes here. Cool cherry and a dusting of spice.
A good example of what can be done with old-vine Carignan in this cuvée. Round and supple with lovely pepper and Christmas spices all overlaid on a crisp and fresh structure.
TOUT BU OR NOT TOUT BU
Hamlet himself would have found the answer to this question simpler then his existential problems (maybe he could have shared a glass with Orphelia). A straightforward but ineffably lovely Grenache / Carignan blend that sums up everything good that people are saying about Loic. (Not that they’re saying anything bad, as far as I know)
* I’m not really sure what this means either, but I think it’s a good thing.