Jon and Elizabeth Bowen decided to settle in the majestic region Haute Corbières in southern Languedoc. In 2004 they bought their own vineyards, starting with 14 hectares divided in 24 separate plots. They have 80 year old carignan and grenache vines growing on poor limestone and schist soil.
We met them at Vinisud in February 2010 and were mightily impressed by their wines. They have an excellent white, La Serre, made from grenache blanc and grenache gris. a wine with complexity and personality; aromas of exotic fruit, full-bodied and with a distinct acidity. Almost steely! (~12 euro)
The hand-crafted red wines are just as good. Le Fournas (8-9 euro) gets a long and slow maceration on the skins, 6-7 weeks, which gives a compact structure but also elegance. It has a lot of freshness (‘fraicheur’) for a wine made in the South. Thanks to the carignan, Jon claims. Sainte Croix Carignan shows that this grape (the carignan) can make excellent wines, provided it is put in the right hands. They expect to become organically certified next year.