Roquetaillade, Limoux, France
Domaine Les Hautes Terres comprises 10 hectares. Gilles Azam grew up in the village of Roquetaillade where he and Geneviève now run the estate and although he was born to a wine-producing family, this estate is entirely his own, and was never the property of his family- he left the region in 1984 and returned in 2000 when he bought his first plots of vines and also his winery.
Mauzac or Mauzac blanc a white variety of grape used for wine, of the species Vitis vinifera. It is mainly grown in the Gaillac and Limoux regions in the southwest of France. Wines made from Mauzac grapes tend to have honeyed, green apple characters, and the variety appears on its own or as part of a blend with Chardonnay.
Located in the foothills of the Pyrenees the mountain range has a strong influence on the wines and is an area across which two climates confront each other- the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. this region of Limoux is a spectacular region geologically, the collision of tectonic plates 50 million years ago threw up not only the Pyrenees mountain range but also successive waves of rolling hills called ’Cuestas’ (the foot-hills of the Pyrenees) that are between 350 metres and 600 metres above sea level. Roquetaillade nestles in a geological amphitheatre, surrounded by hills on which either dry Mediterranean garrigue is found or moisture–rich woodlands with wild tangled undergrowth.
The differences between each area are so distinct that there can be two-weeks between the harvests of vines planted on different slopes. The soil is marly clay containing sand-stone that contains a high concentration of fossils of sea creatures called Turitelles’, small, thin, spiralled pinkish shells with a sharp point, as well as ‘nummulites’, a circular-shaped fossil. The Chardonnay vines are planted facing North/North-East at an altitude of between 400 and 600 metres, to enhance and retain their freshness and acidity.
• Manual harvested
• Gentle pressing
• Cold settling
• Fermentation in stainless steel for 6 weeks
• Indigenous yeast
• Controlled ferment at less than 22oC
• Matured in concrete vats for 6 months
• Malolactic fermentation
• Filtration before bottling
• No fining
• Sulphur added at bottling