I think having Maury on the international wine map would be an amazing achievement. So last week I spent a long weekend in this amazing region.
Maury which is a small winemaking region located in the Pyrénées-Orientales region and Languedoc-Roussillon region, in-between south-western France and Northern Spain. The region is better known for its sweet wines (Vin doux naturel) but there are a handful of sustainable farming winemakers that are producing amazing Reds (Grenache Noir), Whites (Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Macabeu), and Rosé (Grenache Noir, Syrah, Grenache Blanc, and Grenache Gris), Maury was granted it’s AOC back in early 1936.
The climate of Maury is warm, dry and really very Mediterranean influenced. Maury’s location, which is northwest of Perpignan, in the remote hills of the Agly valley, does temper some of the Mediterranean influence, bringing a slightly cooler influence to the valley. Similar to the Mistral influence in the Rhône, the dry northward wind (Tramontane) serves to cool the grapes but is much more gentle and less frequent than the powerful Mistral that can damage the vines. In the shadow of the remains of the Cathar stronghold Château de Quéribus, the soils of Maury are a mix of schist and slate.
The winemaker who we had the joys of staying with (Res Fortes) produce a Red, White and a Rosé, these wines are produced on 11 Ha of land spread out around the region, all within a mile of where the wines are crushed, blended and bottled. The white, red, and rosé wines have all received awards at the United States San Francisco international wine challenge.
This below is Moritz, owner and all things wine at Res Fortes. In Maury, he has some fantastic and well-established vines (these below are Syrah) – some of which have been growing for over a hundred years. The combination of these long-established vines, the mineral-rich schist terrain, and perfect weather means that exceptional fruit is produced consistently year-on-year.
Moritz’ Red is a blend of Grenache Noir, Syrah and Mourvèdre and is presented in a splendid old Vermentino bottle from Sardinia – it’s these bottles and the labels which really makes Res Fortes stand out from the crowd. The Grenache Noir has spent a total of 12 months in Puncheon Oak Barrels – which gives this wine a really unique sweet vanilla spice character. The 2015 vintage is a big wine, better suited to red meats, and can be cellared for up to ten years – It also comes in Magnums!!
The Res Fortes White which is a blend of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Macabeu is a really lovely wine. Upon tasting it in the early part of the year it was light fresh and had a great opening acidity. Now it has had some time to develop in the bottle, and there is tonnes of stone fruit – it’s one of those wines that you just want more and more and more! It’s probably my top summer recommendation.
Well, and for the rosé, this wine has made some outstanding progress since its first vintage, it’s won a handful of quite serious awards, including being featured in Decanter magazine’s top 30 rosé wines in the UK – 2017. This wine will rise to the top of the fame in the rosé world very quickly, it’s a Provence coloured wine, but with flavours that just cut through food. It’s very much both a food wine and a summer sipper.
The Res Fortes wines are all farmed sustainably and Organically, but due to being an early riser they are not yet Certified Organically farmed – it’s an expensive and time-consuming process.
Now we’ve spent our time putting Maury on the wine map it’s now your turn to taste them. You can find all these wines on the platform – either click on the images above or simply search using our search bar on the top right of the screen,