LES ÂNES AILÉS
Mostly Grenache Gris, with a touch of Grenache Blanc and Noir planted alongside, this comes from a remarkable north-facing parcel of seventy year old vines planted over shale high in the hills of Banyuls. Harvested at full maturity, the grapes were either kept as whole bunches or destemmed by hand before a week of maceration. After pressing, the wine rested in barriques until the following spring. A gorgeous, hazy shade of purple in the glass, it draws you in with soaring aromas of wildflowers, blood orange and spice, whilst the palate displays a wonderful density of fruit and an intense, stony quality. A fascinating expression of a remarkable terroir.
Grenache Gris, Grenache Blanc, Grenache
ABOUT THE PRODUCER
We are very excited to introduce the work of the latest grower to make a name for himself in the hotbed of talent that is Banyuls-sur-Mer, Francesco Pesci of Les Ânes Ailés.
Originally from Naples, Francesco grew up in Rome and discovered wine whilst working in the city’s trattorie. In 2017 he moved to France to work alongside Manuel of Vinyer de la Ruca in Banyuls, falling in love with the dramatic Mediterranean landscape and the vigor and personality it imbues upon wines.
Francesco farms two hectares spread out across ancient stone terraces high in the hills above the village. The old bush vines of Carignan, Grenache Blanc, Gris and Noir are planted over pure schist in an extreme climate heady with sunlight, wind and heat. It is a challenging place to grow grapes and whilst yields are painfully low, the wines display profound depth and intensity.
Working organically and entirely by hand, Francesco wishes for his parcels to remain as wild as possible, and due to the stiff winds and arid climate he is rarely required to treat the vines. In the future, he hopes that the work he is doing to introduce plants and herbs amongst the vines will create a topsoil that is capable of nourishing them throughout the increasingly warm growing seasons.
In his small cellar, Francesco does things the old fashioned way, working without temperature control, pumps or additions of any kind. The results are thoughtful, original expressions of one of France’s most unique terroirs.