La Bancale - saint paul de fenouillet, roussillon
After several years working for winemakers all over the Languedoc and Roussillon, Bastien Baillet and his partner Céline Schuers settled in the Roussillon, in Saint Paul de Fenouillet, wedged between the Mediterranean and the snow capped Pyrenees. Bastien and Céline’s affinity with this region was driven not just by an obsession for native varieties (they grow Carignan, Carignan Blanc, Macabeu, Red and Grey Grenache as well as Syrah) and old bush vines, but also for the unique terroirs inherent in this most wild of French regions. The hottest part of France, its rich, potent wines, if made well, seem to possess a minerality, leanness and surprising freshness. The climatic influences here foster this balance and complexity remarkably. Being situated in the foothills of the Pyrenees brings altitude and freshness, the Mediterranean climate and sunshine bring intensity and a richness. The prevailing winds also cool the vines, bring humidity and a salinity, and the variety of mineral deposits in the soil also impart their qualities on the wines.
Whilst Céline and Bastien are still young and relatively fresh on the scene (their first vintage from their current cellar in Saint Paul was in 2016), they show an incredible promise, having already produced several beautiful vintages, demonstrating their knowledge and understanding of the wild, dramatic and sometimes harsh environment in which they have chosen to call home. They have achieved what only the most exceptional in this region have managed to, making wines that sing of their region with their power and intensity, whilst showing balance and a certain elegance to them.