Shatter Grenache 2018
Inky black in color. Flavors and aromas dominated by black current, spice and cured meats with a touch of coffee from low toast barrels. There’s an underlying minerality throughout with the distinct ferrous quality that schist delivers. The palate is pure and powerful, but has structure and a backbone, that holds it all together.
Shatter comes from the small town of Maury in the Roussillon region of France. The hillside Grenache vines were planted over 60 years ago in 100% pure black schist, a slate-like, rocky soil common to the area. Though nutrient-poor, it retains heat well, allowing the slow-ripening Grenache to reach full maturity through cool nights. Tough soil, strong winds and hot days push the vines and cause shatter, or coulure, in the grape clusters, naturally thinning fruit from the vines and producing more intensely concentrated flavors. The yields are 1 ton to the acre on average. Farming is mostly by hand due to the steep and crumbling terrain and the fruit was 100% handpicked.
We used slower fermentations (all native) and extended time on the skins and some stems to add a textured backbone to the wine. Half of the wine was aged in 1–3 year old barrels.
With the evolution in the winemaking in the 2017 vintage forward, we thought it was important to also add more visual purity in the label to help tell that story. We changed the label from abstract art to images that emphasizes the unique black schist soil of Maury, which is what makes the wines in this region so particular. In each case, there are 3 different close up photos (4 of each per case) of the black schist rock that Grenache struggles to grow out of. As we note on the back label, “a blood from a stone, if ever there was”.