Wine Advocate 91
The 2019 Côtes du Roussillon Bastide Miraflors is a blend of 70% Syrah (vinified as whole bunches and aged in 20% new demi-muids) and 30% Grenache (destemmed and aged in concrete). Hints of peppery spice, vanilla and woodsmoke accent the blueberry-scented nose, while the full-bodied palate is ripe, supple and concentrated, adding hints of black cherries, chocolate and licorice on the long finish. It's hard to top this sort of quality at the suggested retail of $19.
The energetic Jean Marc Lafage and his enologist wife Eliane continue to turn out a bevy of great values from their extensive holdings across Roussillon. The state-of-the-art winery alone puts them on the leading edge of producers in the region, able to turn out pristine, cold-fermented whites and extravagantly made reds using extensive cold macerations and barrel fermentation. While experiments with various individual vineyard parcels have been ongoing, three of those are commercially available, albeit in tiny quantities (50 cases each). These wines—Les Lloses, Mireille and Rieussol—give some idea of the latent potential in the region.
Domaine LafageView all from Domaine Lafage
Jean-Marc and Eliane Lafage farm 160 hectares of vines located just south of the capital of French Catalonia, Perpignan. Some of their vineyards are situated a few kilometers from the Mediterranean, while others can be found in the foothills of the Purenees. This range of sites allows them to make refreshing whites, concentrated reds, and – this being the Roussillon – some fortified wines, as well. Benefiting from a warm, dry climate, the estate is farmed organically. They grow primarily Grenache (Blanc, Gris & Noir), Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan, Marsanne, Roussanne and Chardonnay, with a significant portion of the vines well over 50 years old. The soil is more weathered with alluvial gravel the closer it is to the coast, while it is predominately schist in the higher elevation sites. Domaine Lafage harvests by hand and the winemaking is surprisingly uncomplicated: stainless steel for the fresher whites, but mostly concrete tanks for the rest with a small amount of French oak demi-muids.