The Wine: Gel I Grenache Blanc 2017
La Sorga Gel I Grenache Blanc 2017 is a natural wine made from Grenache Blanc grapes farmed organically in Languedoc-Roussilon, Southern France, grown on Limestone soils. Maceration for 2 months whole cluster, and then aged for 11 months in stainless steel. Native yeast, unfined, unfiltered, no added sulfites.
The Producer: La Sorga
Born in Foix, Ariège, a small town in the Pyrénées, Anthony Tortul founded La Sorga in 2008. Originally aiming to produce a range of natural white wines from the finest vineyards in the Languedoc, he visited organic and biodynamic vineyards all over the region. However, the more he saw, the more he fell in love, and soon he was committed to making reds, whites, pink bubbles and sometimes, late-harvest wines.
Currently, Anthony Tortul works with nine vineyards that are spread throughout Aude and Herault, totaling 25ha. The soils here are as varied as the geology, including calcareous clay, shale, basalt, sand, and granite, as is the climate, which ranges from hot and Mediterranean to mountainous and hilly. Planted to more than 20 varieties, including Terret Blanc and Gris, Cinsault, Grenache, Aramon, Carignan, Aubun, Mauzac, Vermentino, Ugni Blanc, Sauvignon, Mourvèdre and more, the vines are grown organically (with 50% farmed biodynamically), and attended to by Anthony. He selects the vines, generally using the same vines each year, as he advises on all farming techniques and harvests together with the growers. “I love vineyards, especially very old vineyards,” he said, “that’s why I work with a lot of little fields with a lot of old varieties.”
Manually harvesting his fruit into 15kg boxes, Tortul works with whole bunches and does not control the temperatures of his fermentations, all of which are done separately before blending. Working with vines that are at least 50-years-old and up to 110-years-old, Anthony’s yields are very concentrated (15-23 hl/ha in very generous years!), and require long aging in the tank.
“The aim is to stick to the terroir,” said Anthony, “For me, natural means nothing added. If there are additives, you cannot say that [the wine] is natural…I prefer to stop making wines than putting additives in my wines.” (source: T. Edward)
The Region: Languedoc