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Wine regions which exist on the borders of major wine producing countries generally lead to fascinating and characterful results. This is certainly true for those wines made in and around the city of Perpignan in France, which touches the northern border of Spain - here we find wines which combine the finesse and elegance of the French style, with the body and passion of those made in Spain. One such winery which displays this character plentifully is Domaine Lafage, where extraordinary wines made primarily with Grenache varietal grapes have taken the international wine scene to new levels of excitement regarding what this region can do.
The winery is managed meticulously by Jean-Marc Lafage, a young vintner who has been involved in viticulture since his late teens. Now in his thirties, he’s taken bold steps to produce wines which do justice to his beloved region of Roussillon alongside his wife, and he has quickly been elevated to the status of one of Europe’s most sought-after wine makers. The border spirit of Perpignan and Roussillon is strong in Jean-Marc Lafage’s work ethic - he also produces fantastic wines in Spain, as well as overseeing production at certain wineries in South America, bringing his unique fingerprint to all that he does.
The wines of Domaine Lafage are made from grapes sourced from many different parts of the Roussillon wine region - Jean-Marc is always seeking out the ultimate in expression - and they are vinified separately before being blended at his winery. The white wines produced there are an attempt at extreme crispness and freshness (malolactic fermentation is never allowed to take place), and the reds are minerally and complex, partly due to the light extraction he favors, as well as the practice of not filtering his produce in order to achieve a higher level of expression.