wines of Domaine Jones, Maury, France
Impressive wines from Katie Jones' new project in the south of
Katie Jones (pictured above) has
lived and worked in the Languedoc region of France for almost 20
years now. For the majority of that time she was the export sales
and marketing director for the dynamic Mont Tauch cooperative. But
since 2009, she has been a winegrower, with her own estate: Domaine
Katie left Mont Tauch in June 2009, and
soon after was in the midst of her first vintage. Altogether, she
has 3.5 hectares of vines, which is quite small scale, but it means
that she can do the bulk of the work in the vineyard by
Her approach is to aim for quality,
producing limited quantities of top wines. Itís the only
sustainable business model in the region at the moment. Most of her
vines are in Maury, at altitude, which helps keep the wines fresh.
But she also purchased a small 0.5 hectare vineyard in Fitou, with
100 year old Carignan and Grenache vines, as well as some Muscat.
The Grenache is an old clone called Ďlladuner pelutí, which
translates as hairy Grenache, because of its hairy leaves. This
small vineyard, fringed by garrigue, was available at a knock-down
because none of the coop people wanted it: itís too small, with a
number of different varieties, making management more expensive. But
for Katie, aiming to make top quality wines, itís ideal,
especially as it is at altitude (300 m), helping preserve acidity
So how are the wines? Sheís doing a
great job. The style aims at freshness and drinkability, and this
has been achieved. But theyíre not just simple wines: here
thereís some real concentration and complexity, but this hasnít
been achieved simply by picking late and using lots of oak, which is
a common mistake in warm climates such as the Languedoc. David
Morrison advised Katie when she was setting up her winery, which is
based in a small stone garage owned by her husband. Morrison must
have given her some good advice.
Iím also really taken by the packaging.
The label design is by a guy called Martin Case, who doesnít
normally work with wineries. This is probably a good thing, because
the labels have a really distinctive and quite unique look to them.
Domaine Jones Muscat Sec 2011
Just 400 bottles made; this is a bit of a one off. In previous
vintages Katie has made a sweet Muscat, but this is dry. Nicely
aromatic and fresh with some grapey notes and hints of spice on the
nose. The palate is dry and spicy but with nice full texture and
sweet grapey fruit. 88/100
Domaine Jones Blanc 2009
Half oak aged, this is predominantly Grenache Gris, with 5%
Muscat. Intense and richly fruited nose with notes of melon and
pear, as well as herb and spice notes. The palate is textured and
broad with rich melon and herb fruit and a bit of bite. Lovely wine.
Domaine Jones Rouge 2009
14.5% alcohol. Grenache and a bit of Carignan, half oak aged.
Sweet, bright red berry fruit nose is aromatic and fresh. The palate
is fruity with a bit of grip. Deliciously lively and open, showing
sweet red fruits and great definition. 90/100
Domaine Jones Fitou 2010
Aged in oak; just 4 barrels made. This comes from a single
vineyard with 100 year old vines. Nicely complex nose of sweet berry
fruits and notes of herb and spice, with a savoury, mineral edge.
The palate is fresh and elegant with nice bright fruit and lovely
tannic structure. Complex, promising and structured, this wine shows
no hints of over-ripeness at all. 93/100
UK agent: Dudley and de Fleury Wines
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