Le Roc Des Anges - Ùnic 2020
We drink from the south of France from the winery Le Roc Des Anges a bottle of Ùnic from 2020.
It’s no secret that I like wines from Roussillon, and over the years both Matassa and Domaine de l’Horizon have made several appearances here on the blog. Just a short distance to the west, in Montner, Marjorie Gallet founded the Le Roc Des Anges winery in 2001. Only a short time before, she had moved to Roussillon after graduating from agricultural college. Stéphane, whom she had already met in college, then joined the winery in 2008 and the two have been jointly responsible for the wines since then. In 2014, they moved to the neighboring town of Latour-de-France, although if you look at the map, the new location is actually pretty much between the two towns. Marjorie learned about biodynamic vineyard management during a stint at the Gauby winery before founding her own winery, and the vines at Le Roc des Anges are also farmed biodynamically. The vines for the Ùnic grow in a single vineyard on weathered slate soils and were planted in 1991. The wine is made entirely from Grenache Noir and fermented spontaneously after hand harvesting before being allowed to age for eight months.
It smells like the south. Not heat or jammy, that’s cool and fresh, but the way the wine is spicy, the herbaceousness, it kind of reminds me of the south. It’s a bit restrained at first, earthy, with red fruit and just the herbal spiciness. On the tongue, a good amount of acidity is in play from the start, with just as much texture waiting behind it. Not scratchy, very fine, but already a lot of it. The wine wants air and when it gets it, it opens up more and more. It gets deeper and deeper, more and more complex. This is not something to drink on the side. You would miss too much. But if you don’t drink it on the side, if you get involved, if you focus, then you will be rewarded here.
The fruit takes a big step forward overnight. There are blueberries and cherries now, mixed with balsamic notes and a bit of meat juice. At the same time, the wine is even more straightforward on the tongue. The acidity is clearer and everything seems much more polished, refined, balanced. The texture has become much smoother and overall this is much juicier now. The first two hours after it found its way from fridge temperature to drinking temperature on day two are really great. Unfortunately, this bottle then doesn’t seem to like more oxygen very much and for me it degrades a bit. Somehow what made it so exciting to keep smelling into seems to fade away a bit. For me, I think it’s starting to smell like red wine. Of course, that’s not quite the big realization now that red wine smells like red wine, but that’s not what I mean. It just gets such a note that does not appeal to me that much. What exactly that is, of course, I do not know. Whether it’s the wine itself, whether it’s this bottle, maybe the cork wasn’t quite perfect, I don’t know. And normally that would be the moment when I think about whether I want to write about it at all. But because the first evening was so good, and the first two hours of this evening even better, I don’t want to have to ask myself this question today. If I had more of it in the cellar, then I would probably now regularly try a bottle to see where it goes. But I unfortunately do not have any more in the cellar and therefore remains for me only this single experience with just this bottle. And sometimes that is then just like now, where you stare into the glass with a bit of confusion. And unlike the nose, it has lost nothing at all on the palate. There is still this great, juicy texture, the fruit, the structure, the length and the spice. It’s still beautiful. Just a bit less beautiful than a few hours ago, unfortunately.