WINE OF THE WEEK: Domaine Jones Grenache Gris 2018/2019, Côtes Catalanes, France

£16.45 for 2018, Amps Wine Merchants; £18.99 for 2019, Yorkshire Vintners


This wonderful dry white wine, with its compelling counterpoint of zing and richness, almost didn't come into being. When Katie Jones was about to sign on the dotted line for her first tiny vineyard in 2008, the one from which this wine comes, she suddenly noticed that the document said that half the 2.5 hectare vineyard was Grenache Gris, rather than all Grenache Noir. She didn't want white grapes. The plan all along had been to produce a red wine from old vines. She almost pulled out, but in the end signed, and from the first vintage, 2009, she vinified the Grenache Gris and the Grenache Noir separately to make a dry white and a dry red.


I emphasise dry because the vineyard is in Maury, Roussillon, under the imposing Cathar castle of Quéribus, and the vines would originally have been planted to produce sweet Rivesaltes Vin Doux Naturel. As it is, the old vines anchored in their dark schist soils produce tiny yields of exciting, concentrated, textural flavours, both red and white.


The 2018 Grenache Gris is humming with zing, ripe citrus and passion fruit and a dusting of fresh pear, dill and cake spices. The equally delicious 2019 is in the same mould but just a little bit tighter, a little bit more citrus, pear and fennel-driven at this stage. They're very good food wines, especially with shellfish, fish such as sea bream and sea bass strewn with herbs and spices, roast vegetables and chicken. But they're just as good without food. 13.5%


I've previously written about Katie's exceptionally rare Carignan Blanc, rare Lledoner Pelut, her Fitou and a red she and her husband made using one each of their vineyards and you can get to know her 15 tiny, old-vine vineyards (and motivate yourself in the mornings), by joining her Tuesday and Thursday 7.30am (UK time) rambles on Domaine Jones instalive. There's also a 5pm (UK) Saturday fixture.


Domaine Jones Grenache Gris 2018/2019, Côtes Catalanes, France


£16.45 for 2018, Amps Wine Merchants; £18.99 for 2019, Yorkshire Vintners


#wine #France #GrenacheGris #wineandfood #winepairing #white

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Header photo © Waitrose & Partners Drinks / Cat Garcia