Roc des Anges | A Roussillon name to remember

Marjorie Gallet has certainly made a name for herself in Roussillon. Her sublime, schist terroirs, old Carignan and Grenache roots, and precise vinification certainly help, but it’s her rigour and talent that truly make her stand out from the rest.

The choices made in the vineyard and the winery bring the best out of each white and red cuvée that Gallet has been crafting since 2001. From Vienne, and a background where big, family meals with wine were ffrequently enjoyed, at just 23 years old she got some friends involved in order to kick start her project: to create a domain from scratch and make her own wine. When she arrived in Roussillon, she was struck by ‘its violent nature’ and charmed by the diversity of its terroirs.

The one she chose, le Roc des Anges, is fully exposed to the north, an important criterion in this especially hot region. The name of this domain comes from a vine of Carignan planted on a vein of quartz. A slope of white soil, christened the ‘white rock’, shines among the surrounding black schists.

In the beginning, there were 10 hectares, and Marjorie was on her own. Little by little, more plots were purchased, growing the domain to 25 hectares. The Roc des Anges vineyard is in Catalonia, leaning against the north face of the Força Réal mountain. The schist stone – in a vertical leafed structure, ensuring regular water to the vines – support the vines of Carignan Noir and Blanc, Grenache Noir and Gris, Maccabeu, and Syrah. These vines have an average age of 70 years, with some reaching 100, and they produce only small quantities (17 hl/ha), though always with gusto.

Before launching herself into this venture, Marjorie Gallet had worked with Gérard Gauby where, far from simply learning a technique, she developed her whole approach to winemaking. Together with her husband Stéphane, who she met in 2008, she pushed the domain on, impassioned by the deep conviction that ‘nature is essential, the place confers its energy to the wine, and the light of Roussillon brightens without burning’. This was the beginning of their organic and biodynamic production.

Simplicity, logic, and understanding are at work in every gesture. The wines are matured in Burgundian barrels or in concrete vats, depending on the fruitiness of their character. They perfectly express the spirit of the winemaker: ‘a mixture of strength and elegance’.

Over time, Roc des Anges has become a family affair. Originally from Normandy, Stéphane Gallet met his future wife at the Montpellier agronomy school. This was an era in which they would escape to Roussillon together at weekends, discovering tis vineyards with amazement. Later, whilst Marjorie was developing Roc des Anges, Stéphane was making his first steps in Maury. This is a village close to his heart, as demonstrated by his purchase of vines destined to become traditional, natural sweet wines at Terres de Gagayra.

What does the Guide Vert from La Revue du vin de France think?

Brilliant and perfectionistic winemakers, Marjorie and Stéphane Gallet have worked together since 2008, putting a personal touch into their production, mainly from old Grenache and Carignan vines. The domain is now certified organic and biodynamic, and the wines have acquired outstanding finesse. If the 1903 cuvée (100% Carignan) has contributed significantly to the domain’s fame, Iglesia Vella (60-year-old Grenache Gris) and L’Oca (Macabeu from clay schists) are certainly of the same standard. This range of breath-taking wines is joined by Chamane, from Muscat grown at high altitudes, and Imalaya, Carignan Gris grown in granite. The domain’s strength has seen impressive growth.

See our selection of wines from Roc des Anges here