Le Soula - way up in the mountains (circa 450mts) around hairpin bends that scared the b’je out of me !
Started in 2001 by Mark Walford - initial 20 ha that Gerard Gauby helped source (Walford’s were Gauby’s uk distributor before being sold to BBR). The parcels spread over a wide area to get the best plots and help reduce issues of events such as hail (always localised). Now 22ha looked after by 6 staff. Wendy Paille (the winemaker) drove us around several of the parcels near to the winery to show their approach to vines and vineyard management. They are Biodynamic but do treat for mildew (allowed to use 12kg of copper per ha over 3 year period)
Plant at 2.5 x .09 (3800 per ha) and 3 x 1 (3000 per ha). Some old parcels (1900 to 1910) are at 1 to 1.5 m width so can’t mechanise.
Sauvignon Blanc - 30 year old vines, pruned late due to frost risk. The old “lake” (L’estang) attracts wild boars and they are an issue in general so all parcels are protected by electric fences (try getting a 9 year old over an electric fence!!)
Vermentino - some vines suffering from flavesekce donee and there is only one organic option to treat and it is not (cost) effective so that parcel will go)
Sauvignon Blanc (at 450m altitude) - plantes in 2016 on grandie, its naturally a cooler site due to the aspect and altitude (some of their vineyards are at 650m)
Grenache Noir - planted in 2017 and the rows of vines will be separated by shrubs (bio diversity) and will be goblet trained. Sadly lost 10-15% of this parcel in the heatwave - young vines couldn’t cope
They are doing lots of work on biodiversity and putting habitats in to increase birds (various nesting boxes) insects and reptiles. They also have bee hives spread through the parcels - although we witnessed one hive being attacked by Asian Hornets !
Trigone is a blend of vintages and the Le Soula will be released and (like now) re released when ready to be drunk (it will of course take some further age) currently the reds on release are 2013 and 2009 and 2014 for the whites
Trigone # 18 nv (2018 + 2017) - VdF - Macabeu, vermentino, Sav Blanc +
Le Soula - 2014 - Cotes Catalanes - Sav Plan, Grenache Gris +
La Maceration du Soula - VdF - Vermentino, macabeu + - whole bunch skin maceration for 13 to 15 days with no pump-overs . Have made a barrel of each vintage. prefer short maceration and long ageing, very pronounced on the nose, herb notes, floral and citrus edge. transfers to mouth…good length. This will not be everyones cup of tea!!
Le Soula - 2013 - Cotes Catalanes - Carignan, syrah, Grenache
Le Soula - 2009 - Cotes Catalanes - Carignan, syrah, Grenache
Great to see the 2013 and 2009 together - shows the evolution pattern. both have cherry, black fruit and leaf notes but eat 2009 has more vegetal edge to it