Rock of Angels

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  • Marjorie Gallet

If you drank either the red or the white wines from Domaine Le Roc des Anges, could you tell they were made by a woman, and a young woman at that?
Marjorie Gallet comes from the Rhone, trained in oenology at Montpellier, then got herself 54 acres in Montner in the eastern Pyrenees, a currently hot wine-making area.
She started making the red Roc des Anges aged 23, back in 2001. The red wine, Segna De Cor, has grenache, carignan and syrah, and it's accessible and likeable, slightly vegetal and extremely good with food.
But the white is slightly something else. It's not a Cotes du Roussillon, it's a Vin de Pays de Pyrenées Orientales. I can recall the days when you ran away from any wines from the Pyrenées, but this is a white wine to embrace and to linger with. The alcohol is 14%, giving a sherry-like nose and nuttiness, and it comes across as a hot-weather wine. It doesn't come across as a woman's wine – “engineered” was my wife's reaction – if we take a woman's wine to be something elemental rather than very structured.
But the elemental bit is there: I reckoned this was a lion tamer's wine, a wine where someone has tussled with the elements, though not necessarily with a whip and a bentwood chair.
“My philosophy is to prevent more than to correct, to have happy vines in their terroir”. Ms Gallet is quoted in the James Nicholson wine portfolio. “Daily work in the vineyard is focused on preserving the balance of the vine plants to let them freely express the terroir”.

But the white isn't good with food, unless you live on very mature Oisin goat's cheese, when the wine shows beautifully. It would suit avocado and other oily, spicy things, but it's a strange bedfellow, to be honest. It's a bedfellow I rather like.
Roc des Anges wines are sold by James Nicholson: