90WA - "Checking in as a blend of 50% Grenache Blanc, 30% Chardonnay and 20% Roussanne that spent four months in tank, on lees, the smoking good 2015 IGP Cotes Catalanes Cote d’Est comes from vineyards located right up against the Mediterranean Sea. This medium-bodied, juicy and deliciously fresh white is almost overflowing with notes of orange blossom, peach, salty sea breeze and honey on the nose. It’s a terrific value that should be bought by the case and enjoyed over the coming year." - Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate, 90 points!
Grenache Blanc, Chardonnay, Marsanne
Côté d’Est, as the name suggests, comes from vineyards planted on the gentle slopes facing the Mediterranean just a few kilometers inland from the sea. Benefiting from the thermal breezes that refresh these vineyards every afternoon in the summer – which preserves a high level of natural acidity in the grapes – this is a lively blend of Grenache Blanc with smaller percentages of Chardonnay and Marsanne. Floral and aromatic, it is an excellent example of the open and friendly whites you can find all along the Catalan coast from Perpignan to the Penedès.
Jean-Marc and Eliane Lafage farm 160 hectares of vines located just south of the capital of French Catalonia, Perpignan. Some of their vineyards are situated a few kilometers from the Mediterranean while others can be found in the foothills of the Pyrenees. This range of sites allow them to make both refreshing whites as well as concentrated reds and, this being the Roussillon, some fortified wines as well. 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. The soil, as you near the coast is weathered, alluvial gravel while in the higher elevation sites it is predominantly schist. They harvest by hand and the winemaking is surprisingly uncomplicated with stainlesss steel for the fresher whites but mostly concrete tanks for the rest with a small amount of French oak demi-muids.