2018 Pedres Blanques (Rié et Hirofumi Shoji) - Grenache. Rousillon, France. 750ml
When anyone thinks about the southern French region of Roussillon it is probably not about what’s happening in Roussillon today, which is a revolutionary shift toward fresh, mineral dry wines, some of France’s very best.
Rié et Hirofumi Shoji are the exciting new talent in Collioure, the appellation in the Roussillon that shares boundaries with Banyuls but is for dry and not fortified wines.
I first met Hiro when he was working in Burgundy for Fred Cossard, one of the best winemakers anywhere in my opinion and certainly you could not do better for a mentor in the production of artisanal, naturally made wine.
Hiro would often take me through the tasting when Fred was away and his sensitivity and curiosity was evident back then. When, after 5 years, he told me that he was leaving to pursure his dream I was happy for him and I knew that he would make brilliant wine.
Fast forward to 2018 and I met Hiro and Rié to taste their first wines at the Salon des Anonymes in Angers. They dropped a splash of each in my glass; purity, exuberance, depth and charm..I was hooked right in.
They are farming two parcels, one planted in 1989 and the other in 1965 - both on the regions granite/schiste soil. The wines are made almost entirely from Grenache Noir. Hand harvesting, whole bunches, spontaneous fermentations, no pumps and no filtration. These are wines that a full of character and when you add the talent of Hiro and Rié the result is elan and finesse; in short, wonderful wines.