High up in the foothills of the Pyrenées, they made a remarkable find: at 350 meters in elevation in the Haute Vallée de l’Aude (“Vallée d’Atacis”), with a direct southern sun exposure was a perfect plot of 30 to 50 year old Pinot Noir vines.
And then to take it completely over the edge, the high slope, perfect drainage soils forced vines to dig deep into the clay-limestone slopes to gain precious water. The only downside – if there was one – was that harvesting would have to be almost completely done by hand.
Nonetheless, if that’s what it would take, the foursome got to work – farming organically and mostly by hand over the last 20 odd years. Wines of this pedigree back home near Davayé would easily fetch in high double digits.
Here they had the opportunity to craft compelling Pinot Noir at a fraction of the price. The 2021 Altugnac Pinot Noir bounces out of the glass with an abundance of bing cherry which slowly give way to a touch of cinnamon spice. Tannins are light and balanced by a kiss of acidity but the overall impression is a light, delicious and super-easy drinking wine featuring black berries, raspberry, clove, and baking spices.
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