In 2001 New Zealanders Tom Lubbe and (now MW) Sam Harrop purchased a small old vineyard high up in the hills of Coteaux du Fenouillèdes called Clos Matassa. The vineyard was run down at the time and planted with just old-vine Carignan. Fifteen years on Domaine Matassa is run solely by Tom, has converted to Biodynamics, increased its land-holding and now produces an array of wines from varieties including Muscat d’Alexandrie, Maccabeu, Grenache Gris, Syrah and Mourvèdre.
With each year vine health has improved to the point that Tom is now making all of his wines without any additions at all, including sulphur dioxide, and testament to the virtues of good farming, Tom finds that he spends most of his time in the vineyards and very little in the winery.
As with the South the vineyards at Domaine Matassa are a combination of granite and schist, but these wines couldn’t be more unlike anything else from the South… The wines are all wonderfully ripe and developed but not a single one exceeds 12 degrees alcohol! They are beautiful, soft and supple – truly elegant wines – and both incredibly pleasant and incredibly easy to drink.
Calce, Languedoc-Roussillon, France