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Katie Jones, La Perle Rare Blanc NV
This wine is a blend of cuvees, all of which have spent at least 3 years in oak. Production is limited to a barrel per year - 300 bottles making it Katie's rarest wine!
Seductive and aromatic, there's a floral nose infused with fennel which is tempered by a buttery lick of oak. The palate is slightly waxy with an abundance of soft ripe pear and candied lemon. This rich profile is well balanced by a well integrated backbone of acidity.
In this wine, Katie accidentally recreated the traditional style of white wine that was made in the area from the early 1900s. It was custom for growers in the village to keep a barrel of wine in their cellar which would be topped up every year and used for personal consumption and cooking. In 2009 she had a barrel of grenache gris that was far too oaky.
She left it in a corner of the winery topping it up occasionally. Four years later the wine had transformed into a complex, slightly oxidised wine which she subsequently bottled. For a couple of years, a barrel was bottled each vintage. Simply named Blanc Barrique aka Sleeping Beauty.
The wine now has its place at the very top of Katie's range. It is now named La Perle Rare blanc. To maintain consistency in the style there are 3 barrels in the winery from different vintages. The oldest vintage is regularly topped up with the younger wines. La Perle Rare blanc therefore is non- vintage but will include wines that have spent at least 3 years in oak. Production is still limited to a barrel per year - 300 bottles making it Katie's rarest wine!
Most other growers in the area wouldn’t be interested in Katie Jones' modest 12 hectares of vines which spread across vineyards in Maury (her first), Paziols and Tuchan.
The sites are small,remote and, to most vignerons - too much like hard work. Katie looksfor low yields with high quality, and the rather poor, sloping ground that the very old,traditional vines cling to gives just that.
Most of the work including harvesting has tobe done by hand, but the results are more than worth the toil!
Having worked in marketing for a Co-Operative for many years, Katie decided to get in to wine making, leaving her job and starting out in 2008.
Some spiteful individuals vandalised her little winery in 2013, and almost her entire harvest went quite literally down the drain.
She has now established a new, high-security winery in what was once an old train shed in the village of Tuchan, abandoned since 1935.