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Mas d'Alezon

In 1997, several years after establishing Domaine de Clovallon, Catherine Roque acquired Mas d’Alezon and its 7 hectares in the northern corner of Faugères. In contrast to the almost adjacent vineyards of Domaine de Clovallon, the terroir and soils here are schistous. Schist soils give a singular expression to the typical Languedocian grape varieties. Schist is a metamorphic rock, more specifically a metasedimentary rock, having changed from shale or mudstone to schist through a process called recrystallization. It is believed that these Paleozoic rocks in Faugères give birth to wines of finesse and austerity.

The vineyards are located in the village of Soumatre and are the highest in the appellation, ranging from 350 to 450 meters in altitude. Catherine’s vineyard is certified organic and bio-dynamic principles are employed to enhance the health of the soil and plants. The grape varieties grown here include Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, Clairette and Roussanne. The average age of the vines is 25 years old, including plots of 70 year old Grenache and 80 year old Mourvèdre. Due to the combination of infertile soils and cool micro-climate, the grapes ripen very slowly and yields are typically between 20 to 25 hl/ha.

With a minimum intervention winemaking philosophy, Catherine relies on indigenous yeasts for fermentation and believes in long and slow fermentation at cool temperatures. The wines are aged in cement tanks and barrels that are not new, for up to two years. Little to no sulphur is added to the wines, and they are bottled unfiltered and unfined. The grapes are vinified in concrete egg vats and chestnut barrels, giving freshness and vitality to the wines.