Domaine Ollier Taillefer Les Collines.
Grenache, Carignan, Syrah
Faugeres AOC, Languedoc, France
Luc and Françoise Ollier have now fully converted to organic and biodynamic methods. All grapes are grown on steep schist slopes at 200 - 350 metres and harvested by hand and fermented mostly with natural yeast. This is not a blockbuster, but a fresh and juicy mountain wine as a result of its terroir and sensitive winemaking methods.
Françoise Taillefer and her brother, Luc, run the estate
started by their father, Alain Ollier. Set in the hills around
the picturesque village of Fos, the Taillefer vines are planted
in the sloping schist soils of the Faugéres appellation. The
height of the vineyards means the temperatures are lower,
thereby avoiding the dreaded baked fruit. The wines are
rich with lovely juiciness and a minerality from the schist in
which they grow.
Family tradition is very important here, with some
100-year-old vines dating back to the time of Françoise’s
great-grandfather. Luc is responsible for tending the vines,
and Françoise looks after the business side of things. The
Wines Direct team visited recently (pre-Covid), and the
ever-charming Françoise ran out to greet us with her
infectious laugh and brilliant smile. She proceeded to take
us on a vertiginous tour of the vineyards in her open-top
jeep — definitely among the highest vineyards we typically
visit. The way she manoeuvres the tight corners of this
rugged terrain in her behemoth jeep is a skill in and of itself.
The pièce de résistance was a breakfast set in the heart of
the incredible biodiversity of their vineyard — a table
surrounded by beautiful wildflowers, herbs, and buzzing
bees as background music. The breakfast included wild
boar pâté (also of the vineyard and made by Françoise)
alongside the fresh, juicy wine produced in this healthy
terroir. The experience sums up precisely the incredible
hands-on details that make their wine magic.
Faugéres is not the most well-known Languedoc
appellation but, in the hands of Luc and Françoise Taillefer,
they skillfully make the best of family expertise and the
passion for this distinctive terroir.
"...Nicely concentrated, medium-bodied wine with piquant red fruits and a lovely savoury, liquorice tang on the finish."
"This blend has ripe fruit, touches of chocolate and tar, but also freshness and balance in a medium-bodied wine, at a very attractive price."
"Attractive savoury dark plums with a savoury touch. went nicely with pork chops and mushrooms."
Domaine Ollier Taillefer
The vineyards are planted on steep schistous slopes, south-facing and at a height of 200 to 350 metres above sea level according to plot. Traditional grape varieties, are planted, mainly Grenache noir, Carignan noir, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault for our AOC Faugères red and rosé, and Roussanne and Rolle (or Vermentino), for the AOC Faugères white