Speaking about why their wine is with "Vin de Table" labels instead of AOC : In the region, the final decision is taken every year for the AOC labels, from samples of wines the vignerons must present to the agreement commissions. The tasting board overlooking the wines for the agreement is a panel of vignerons of the region, and even though it is a blind taste, they recognize immediately Casot's wines, are they are so outstanding among the Banyuls wines. They keep being excluded, every year.
After a short drive inland and uphill from Banyuls with Ghislaine, we walk on narrow stone/dirt paths to see several vineyard plots. Here they follow organic viticulture without compromise. Short pruning. Destemming sometimes. Depends of the conditions. No fining, no fitration. As we walk in the cold made even worse by a fierce wind, she says this is the coldest winter ever, this year. The destabilizing wind is the "tramontane des Pyrenées", a wind coming from the Pyrennéean mountains.
We then reach another plot, named "Gratalloups" [ picture below ]. Very steep and fragmented plot, with tiny terraces surrounded by low schist walls, some holding as few as 3 or 4 vines ... Just because of the difficulty we have to reach the place, I understand the work must be painful. The black shist stones walls keep the ground from being washed away and they need constant repair year around. An orange plastic box on the ground : A hormone trap for maybugs that parasite the vines. Males are caught in the traps. Only 4 such traps per hectare and it does the job.
__1 White . Casot des Mailloles "Blanc du Casot" 2004. From a cask. Colour, clear honey. Some turbidity. Aged on its lees. Makes CO2 which protects the wine. Very tannic. Harvest when grapes are ripe, at 15° or 16°. At the same time "thirst wine" and a well balanced wine. Grenache Gris 60%, Grenache Blanc 30% .There will 1200 bottles of white wine this year.
__2 Red . Clôt de Taillelauque 2003. Nose : Corinth grapes. Non agressive tannins. Grenache Noir, Carignan, Mourvedre. Iodized aromas, Seaweed Oak tree orchard near the vineyard that give some aromas too.
__3 Same cuvée but in 2004. From a cask.
While we enjoy the tasting a small Fox Terrier keeps asking for our attention ...Did'nt join us in when we went in the mountain but knows all the vineyard plots and paths.