By: Keith Mabry
K&L Staff Member
Last year was a banner year for our southern French department. Through our relationship with Antech, Reserve d'O, and Clos de l'Anhel, we were fortunate enough to be introduced to the marvelous winemaker, Severine Bourrier. All of these wineries are part of an association of women winemakers known as the Vinifilles, a group that travels together, sharing information, marketing each others wines and having in general a good time. Each producer is a specialist in her respective region, Severine's is the Roussillon. Her winemaking skills are impressive but when you visit the individual sites, which I was able to do this past year, you see that this is where the true work is done. The Secret de Schistes comes from all brown slate soils from a single parcel deep in the Agly Valley further west and more sparse. Every great vineyard tells a story and this site speaks volumes. The vines are stressed by the poor soil, it's a steep slope and its sometimes difficult to access because of weather conditions. The site's natural yield is exceedingly low but the quality of the fruit is astounding. It actually dusted a light snow while we were there, which if you have ever visited Roussillon is not a common occurrence. The 2015 ranked as one of our most successful wines last year and this new vintage is a superb follow-up. We have so many fans, people are still asking for the wine. Well the 2016 has just arrived and is equally fabulous. The fruit is explosive with a nose of currant jam, blueberries, sassafras and cola. The palate is deft and elegantly balanced (elegance is what Severine ultimately strives for). It has the structure to lay down but possesses inviting qualities that make it hard to keep your hands off. From collector, to enthusiast, to drinker, there is so much to like in this wine.