Les Maoú, Pétillant Rouge 2020
Grenache (45%), Carignan (22%), Gros Vert (33%)
In the heart of Gordes, an area better known for breezy vacationers than for soulful wines, Vincent and Aurélie Garreta are producing some of the most earnest, balanced, super glou glou we’ve ever tasted.
The couple is a true team whose warmth and radiance translates directly to the grapes they farm—Grenache, Clairette, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Aubun (a local variety on the verge of extinction), Cinsaut (spelled the ancient way, taking the lead of renowned ampélographe Pierre Galet)—and the people who help them. Come harvest, they employ eleven workers (eight women, three men) from 8am to 4pm for a period of 10-15 days, depending on the year.
The workers break for a pause at 10am (café and pâté, wine on “special days”) and then lunch in the vines a few hours later (“real local proper food + tasting wine”). After they’re done in the vines, they take turns accompanying Vincent to the chai in groups of 3-4. In the chai, they add grapes to the tanks and footstomp before they wash the boxes, relax with a cold beer around 7pm, and return to their campsite on a nearby farm (paid for by the Garretas). Vincent finishes the day by cleaning the chai and is usually home to Aurélie by 9pm.
Much of the juice undergoes semi-carbonic maceration and ferments in cement, at which point it is left to age until blended and bottled in the spring. The results are jewels of varying degrees of ruby-red: from the light and bright “Entre Chats” + “Au P’tit Bonheur” to the fresh and lively “Vaste Programme” + “L’un Dans L’autre” to the deeper, darker “Entre Les Gouttes” + “Hauts Les Coeurs !” — all sure to deliver un coup de foudre.
Wild strawberries brace the tongue with earthy and fruity complexity in this sparkling red pet-nat made of Grenache, Carignan, and Gros vert. Aged for over 2 years over the lie, this pet-nat has a structural richness and a maturity that surprises the palate.