Faugeres Grande Reserve
Carignan, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre
Domaine Ollier Taillefer’s oldest Carignan vines go into this wine, along with Grenache, Syrah, and a little Mourvèdre - all grown organically. It’s a real Faugères wine; the flinty nose comes from the local schist soils. On the palate, terroir continues to be the main driver: red berries, liquorice, and garrigue herbs like laurel, juniper, and lavender combine to make this a complex and fascinating wine.
- Carignan, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre
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Francoise 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 Faugeres appellation. The height of the vineyards means the temperatures are lower, thereby avoiding the dreaded baked fruit. Instead, the wines are rich, but with a lovely juiciness and a minerality from the schist in which they grow.
The family tradition is again very important here, with some 100 year old vines dating back to Francoise’s great-grandfather. Luc is responsible for tending the vines, and Francoise looks after the business side of things. The last time I visited, the ebullient and effervescent Francoise took us on a vertiginous tour of the vineyards in her open-top jeep.
These are definitely among the highest vineyards I've been in, and of course this terroir is evident in the fresh, juicy wine produced here. Not the most well-known Languedoc Appellation, Faugeres is well worth a try, especially in the hands of Luc Taillefer, who skillfully makes the best of family expertise and excellent terroir.
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