Chateau de Calce
(Côtes du Roussillon)

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Calce, a remarkably tiny village of 190, is perched on a promontory at the bottom of a little valley, but is paradoxically the third commune of the département in terms of area. Its terroir is constituted of schistose hills covered in green oak, thyme, bruyère, juniper and a good deal of other Mediterranean shrubbery. The tiny parcels of vines are disseminated among the wooded hills, some on terraces, others descending the narrow slopes, and composed only of 3 or 4 rows of vines, snaking around the guarrigue and the boulders to rejoin a little lower, thereby resembling little "rivers of vines".
This territory of wooded slopes and vines is a hunting reserve where partridges, wild rabbits and above all boar can be found. The Château de Calce at the heart of the village dates from the 12th century. There remain only the great curtain walls and the underground cistern, the former reserve for rainwater.

Terroir: Schist doré of the Agly Valley
Climate: Calce is located in a region where the sunshine is the most prevalent in France. Theh maturation is often hastened by the tramontane, frequently dry and violent, by the see breeze, and by the wind of Spain, which once in a while brings the ambient humidity necessary to the developpement of the vines.
Producer: The cooperative at Calce is one of the smallest in Roussillon, with a total production around 6000 hectolitres, of which almost half is composed of Vin Doux Naturel (AOC Rivesaltes or Muscat de Rivesaltes). Most of the rest is AOC Côtes du Roussillon rouge, although a small amount of white is produced. All the vignerons in the village of Calce are members of the cave. They number about 60 and together they cultivate 170 hectares. Vinifications are directed by the president of the co-op, Mr. Balmigere, who also is its vigneron-artisan.
Cépages: 40% Grenache Noir (traditional fermentation), 45% Carignan (half carbonic maceration/half traditional fermentation), 15% Syrah (carbonic maceration)
Yields: about 35 hl/ha
Alcool: 13%
Vinification: Half of the Carignan and the Syrah are vinified under carbonic maceration with a long cuvaison.
The Grenache and the second half of the Carignan is vinified after a destemming at harvest, with a total immersion of the cap, and a long fermentation.
Color: A beautiful sustained purple
Nose: Powerful and complex, with developed aromas of leather and cooked fruits, finely spiced, with nuances of prunes.
Tasting: Fleshy wine with a beautiful velvety, licorice texture, broad, with powerful tannins softened by the élevage. A long, warm, and agreeable finish.
Pairings: For red meats and cheeses. Beef steaks or barbecue. Entrecôte marchand de vin. Grilled Magret de canard or canard rôti à l'ancienne. Lamb chops or venaison. Tournedos with mushrooms, etc.