wines of Domaine Le Soula, Roussillon, France
Some of the south of France's most remarkable wines
Soula is one of the south of France’s most exciting wineries.
It’s a partnership between Gérard Gauby, famed winegrower of the
Roussillon, and UK wine merchants Roy Richards and Mark Walford,
based on old abandoned vineyards in the Fenouillèdes, which Gauby
discovered back in 2001. To go with the vineyards, the three bought
an old building in Saint Martin de Fenouillet, which they converted
into a cellar in time for the first vintage (2001).
operation grew, and in 2008 added Gérald Standley to the team as
general manager, working alongside Gauby. They also moved the winery
to an old co-op in Prugnanes, with some more space. I tasted these
wines with Gérald.
The key to Le Soula is the quality of the
vineyards. These are mostly small plots of old vines, spread out
over quite a distance: there are 15 km between the furthest
vineyards. ‘It takes half a day minimum to visit all the
vineyards,’ says Gérald. They are all on decomposed granite, with
the exception of one small parcel on schist. All have slightly
different expositions, and the altitude ranges from 350–600 metres.
Yields are low, ranging from 14–18 hl/ha.
Reds are made with whole bunches in the ferments.
There is no acidification, and natural yeast ferments are employed.
The wines are matured in large vats (1500 litres) and demi-muids
UK agent is Richards Walford, and retail prices are
given in brackets.
Le Soula Rouge 2008 Vin de Pays des Côtes
Fresh, bright and expressive with lovely taut cherry and berry
fruit. Fresh with some mineral notes and good acidity. Youthful and
expressive with nice purity and lovely freshness. 93/100 (£20.99)
Le Soula Rouge 2007 Vin de Pays des Côtes
Smoky, mineral, flinty edge to the pure red fruits nose. Lovely
fresh, bright, supple berry and cherry fruits here. Expressive and
mineral with lovely freshness and precision. 93/100 (£20.99)
Le Soula Blanc 2008 Vin de Pays des Côtes
Intense, fresh, quite pure fruit on the nose. The palate is
textured yet fresh with tight mineral, spice and subtle flint notes.
Real precision and intensity here. Potential for further
development. 93/100 (£20.99)
Domaine Le Soula Blanc 2007
Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes, France
alcohol. From vineyards high up in the Fenouillèdes with decomposed
granite soils. Very interesting, flinty, minerally, spicy, savoury
nose with some bright citrus fruit. The palate is savoury and
structured with fresh apple and citrus notes, as well as white peach
and nice minerality. Complex and savoury with some nice matchstick
reduction in the background. Quite profound. 92/100
Le Soula Blanc 2006 Vin de Pays des Côtes
Beautiful aromatics: herbs, apples, nuts and minerals. Taut and
expressive. The palate is fresh with high acidity and a lovely
savoury, nutty, mineral edge, as well as ripe apple notes. So fresh
and complex. 94/100 (£20.99)
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