The ten winegrowers who immersed their bottles in the pond of Salses and Leucate on January 4 are unanimous, after the bottles went up on Monday, June 5. This five-month cure in the waters of the pond which is shared between the Aude and the Pyrénées-Orientales was singularly beneficial. "The comparative tasting between the two bottles, the one that stayed at home and the one we immersed, is striking. We have undoubtedly gained in maturity and fruit, with a little exotic taste, almost tangy. And when it is served chilled, it will be a treat," says Marie Cossoul, from the Domaine de l'Esparrou in Canet-en-Roussillon.
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With her sister, Malou, they immersed at the end of Christophe Guinot's oyster ropes sixty bottles of white wine, Marsanne and Grenache grape varieties, after six months of maturation in oak barrels.
Leucate (Aude), the bottles of Marie and Malou, from the Domaine de l'Esparrou in Canet-en-Roussillon, have been recovered. The immersion is good and the bottles are decorated. LP/Christian Goutorbe
At Riere-Cadene, an estate in Perpignan, sixty bottles of young red wine from the 2022 harvest were sent into the water. "Immersion seems more relevant to me on a young wine. This gives an accelerated ageing, rounded tannins and the fruits stand out better, "says Jean-François Rière, the boss who experimented with immersion on a natural wine, without any treatment, based on a very rare and endemic grape variety of the Catalan country: lladoner-pelut.
Shells decorate the bottles
"Oysters and wine are a perfect, ideal and always successful combination. It's a natural relationship," explains Christophe Guinot, oyster farmer at the Cabane des Tontons in Leucate (Aude) who hosted the six hundred bottles in its oyster beds. He himself, in his mythical hut, does not shrink from any audacity to sign unprecedented agreements between shellfish and southern wines.
These bottles, studded with shells and mussels from the pond, will feed an exceptional event on June 25. "Those who wish will be able to taste these wines during a day of discovery from Château de Rey in Canet-en-Roussillon. Participants will experience an atypical moment in three stages," promises Marjorie Chartier-Doudon, from the Canet tourist office.
The winegrowers are already looking forward to an even richer next edition, with producers close to the coastline, to stay in the spirit of the sea.