Agly Brothers: Roussillon
A chance meeting in the mid nineties was the start of a partnership between two influential winemaking families of modern times—The Laughtons and the Chapoutiers. A common belief in biodynamic farming and its expression of “true terroir” led to the forming of a common vision—to create wines that were from opposing sides of the world, old and new world, that were joined in the philosophy of their creation—as true expressions of their terroir.
Agly Brothers is nurtured biodynamically and made with simplicity from vines grown in the Southern French town of Latour de France, located in Corbières zone in the hills above the Roussillon plains. Literally translated as ‘The Tower of France’, this small village borders the ancient kingdoms of Catalonia and France. Mature vineyards lay abandoned in this area of steep, arid slopes due to the high cost of farming, thus it is the quest of the Laughton and Chapoutier families to rediscover and fully express these exceptional, low-yielding sites. The vineyards are located on the slopes in the upper reaches of the Agly valley. The plot planted with Carignan and Shiraz is on gneiss at an altitude of 250m, and faces north. The plot planted with Grenache is on south-facing slopes on an original soil made up of schists on a layer of limestone.
2013 Agly Brothers Cotes du Roussillon (60% Syrah, 20% Carignan, 20% Grenache).
The grapes are 100% destemmed and fermented in small concrete tanks. The wine is transferred to larger barrels for malolactic fermentation. The wines are then aged for 16-20months in oak, both new and old. “Probably the greatest wine yet from this collaboration between Michel Chapoutier and Ron Laughton, the 2013 Cotes du Roussillon (60% Syrah and 20% each of Grenache and Carignan) was harvested on September 15 and sees only concrete-tank aging. It has the purity and focus of the vintage to go with superb notes of blackberry and black-cherry-like fruit, pepper, bouquet garni and incredible minerality. A big, rich, medium to full-bodied effort, it has great acidity, a silky, elegant texture and knockout length. It should be relatively accessible on release, yet benefit from short-term cellaring and have 10-15 years of overall longevity. Unfortunately, there were less than 300 cases produced.” (94-96) erobertparker.com Apr ’15
2011 Agly Brothers Cotes du Roussillon
The grapes are picked and selected by hand, 100% destemmed and fermented in small concrete tanks. Maceration takes place over a period of 3-4 weeks with very mild pigeage. The wine is transferred to larger barrels for malolactic fermentation. The wines are then aged for 16-20months in oak, both new and old.
“A smoky overtone to almost paste-like compression of fresh blackberry with tartness of skin and crunch of seeds renders the Agly Brothers 2011 Cotes du Roussillon a pungent and piquant mouthful, its charred meat and crushed stone components emphasizing the wine’s metaphorically sinister character. Hints of anise, vanilla, and bitter chocolate add alluring complexity to this firm, finely tannic cuvee, which while it’s hardly long on charm is certainly impressively long, period. Give it a few years in the cellar and expect it to remain vigorous through at least 2022.” 90 pts eRobertParker.com Jan 2014
2012 Agly Brothers Cotes du Roussillon (60% Carignan, 20% Shiraz, 20% Grenache)
The grapes are 100% destemmed and fermented in small concrete tanks. The wine is transferred to larger barrels for malolactic fermentation. The wines are then aged for 16-20months in oak, both new and old. “The 2012 Cotes du Roussillon Agly Brothers comes from a collaboration between the Chapoutier family and the Laughton family (of Jasper Hill in Australia) and was first made in 2004. A blend of Syrah (from granite soils), Grenache and Carignan, it offers a knockout bouquet of sweet blackberry-styled fruit, olive, leather, crushed rock and hints of mint that flows to a structured, rich and beautifully textured profile on the palate. There’s solid underlying structure here, so short-term cellaring is advised. It will drink nicely for 10-12 years or more.” (92-95) erobertparker.com Apr ’14