Alain and Agnes Carrère make their fresh cuvées between the Fenouillèdes valley and the Pyrenees. Having started with 2 hectares in 1992, the couple now farm 30 hectares of vines - some of which they have planted themselves, while others reach back as far as 120 years. The winery sits at an altitude of 400 metres, cooled by the Tramuntana wind from the north-east, and characterised by soil of clay, limestone and slate. In a region that many believed was only adequate for making mass-produced wines, it’s unsurprising that Alain and Agnes initially made wine for supermarkets. The grapes from Domaine de Majas had previously all been sold to a cooperative and, when approached by a French supermarket chain, the couple initially saw this as a way to embrace and learn the entire vinification process. The financial return proved devastating, and the couple decided to restructure their approach. A chance meeting with Tom Lubbe from the nearby Domaine Matassa kick-started a partnership that would prove to be the foundation for the Majas wines of today. Alain and Agnes had always had an interest in organic viticulture but hesitated to plunge into this risky venture with 30 hectares to tend to - until they met Tom. In the vineyards the grass grew long and the soil rested, and ancient vines that felt as if they had been ‘on life support’ were rejuvenated. With the transition to indigenous yeasts and limited sulphur in the cellar came wines that were a far cry from the ‘zero-personality products’ which they had previously been requested to make.
Majas Rouge 2021 is a cuvée of Grenache and Carignan. After being harvested by hand, the grapes are destemmed and spontaneously fermented in stainless steel before being pressed and matured in inox. Typical of southern France, the nose is reminiscent of a forest walk, full of dry wood and violets with a touch of earthiness. On the palate, blackberry, beetroot and gentle tannins with a lively acidity.