Doug Decants: Mas Foulaquier Orange à la Mer

Pierre Jéquier was formerly an architect, but his passion for wine and the desire to have a craft close to nature led him to become a winemaker. After a lot of research in the South of France, it was love at first sight for Mas Foulaquier in 1998. Since the first vintage, in 1999, Mas Foulaquier has evolved considerably.

With its old stone farmhouse built over centuries, Mas Foulaquier is situated at the northern edge of the designated Pic Saint Loup ‘cru’. The farm overlooks a large plot of 8-hectares of sloping vines, similar to an enclosed Burgundy parcel. In addition to this lovely setting, the property is part of the exceptional Pic-St-Loup terroir: a landscape warmed by the southern sun and cooled by the climate of the lower reaches of the Cévennes.

The limestone clay soil is pebbly and has both good filtering capacity due to the presence of stones and limestone fragments, and good water retention thanks to the red clay. The main plot slope faces south-southwest, which means the grapes ripen early. The wide divergence between daytime and night-time temperatures is accentuated by the altitude of the vines (200m) and ensures that the wines are extremely refreshing on the palate. In 2003, Blandine Chauchat joined the Foulaquier team bringing with her three hectares of old vines in the plot known as Les Tonillières in Claret.

Driven by love for this rugged environment, and respect for this magical and unspoilt landscape, Pierre and Blandine cultivate and treat their vineyards with biodynamic preparations applied in accordance with the biodynamic sowing calendar.

No synthetic substances are used on the vines, nor any oenological products in the wine production. Even weed control is manual. Their work respects the rhythms of the biodynamic planting calendar, both in the vineyard and in the cellar. Mas Foulaquier use preparations such as horn manure, composted cow manure, horn silica and several plant or flower decoctions. These preparations are dynamised and then sprayed on the vines, which strengthens soil life and boosts the vines’ resistance to disease.

The majority of production is dedicated to red wines (Grenache Noir, Syrah and Mourvèdre are the dominant varieties singly or in blends).

Orange à la Mer is their orange wine – appropriately – comprising 70% Muscat d’Alexandrie (sourced from an organic vineyard in the Roussillon), 15% Muscat à Petits Grains and 15% Grenache Blanc.

The grapes are manually harvested into small crates and given a three-month maceration on skins with fermentation with indigenous yeasts. The elevage is soft and lengthy, without intervention, in the form of an infusion, in order to slowly extract the materials and the tannins and ensure that everything blends harmoniously into the wine. The wine is matured in concrete tanks for nine months and bottled without filtration, fining or added sulphur.

Saline, mineral and aromatic, Orange à la Mer displays notes of rose, apricot and garrigue. This is a lovely subtle wine with flavours of bitter orange, dried flowers, wild herbs and a smattering of white spice on the finish.

2021 Mas Foulaquier Orange à la Mer


Interested in finding more about the wines of Mas Foulaquier? Contact us directly: | | 01483 538820

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