A joint venture between Eric Solomon and Jean-Marc Lafage, Tessellae old vines is assembled from vineyards on schist that Jean-Marc Lafage farms near Maury in the Agly valley.
Jean-Marc and Eliane Lafage farm 160 hectares of vines located just south of the capital of French Catalonia, Perpignan. Benefiting from a warm, dry climate, the estate is farmed organically. They grow primarily Grenache (Blanc, Gris & Noir), Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan, Marsanne, Roussanne and Chardonnay with a significant proportion of the vines well over 50 years old. They harvest by hand and the winemaking is surprisingly uncomplicated with stainless steel for the fresher whites but mostly concrete tanks for the rest with a small amount of French oak demi-muids.
Aging: 12 months in concrete tanks.
Tasting notes: Red Wine. 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre.
A stunning bargain from Lafage is the 2014 Tessellae Old Vines, a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre, all aged in concrete. Much of it comes from 70-year-old vines planted in limestone and clay soils. A delicious, dense ruby wine with notes of red and black cherries, earth, spice, pepper, and a touch of Provençal garrigue. Fresh vibrant acidity is also present, and the wine is uncomplicated but rich, fleshy, and very well balanced. Drink it over the next 2-3 years. ~90RP
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