Da Ros vines in the Côtes-du-Marmandais

The Unique and Soulful Wines of Elian Da Ros from the Côtes-du-Marmandais!

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Elian Da Ros & Sandrine Farrugia, the Côtes-du-Marmandais

Even in France, the Marmandais region is quite obscure unless you are a rugby fan or a tomato aficionado. Upstream along the Garonne in the Lot-et-Garonne, barely 45 min drive from Sauternes, this softly rolling, peaceful area is historically a polycultural land of tobacco, grains, and tomatoes whose fame is due to early 19th century Italian immigration bringing with them seeds and agricultural know-how. The vineyards appear on the best hillsides but until recently their potential was ignored: before 1936 and the AOCs, they were blended with Bordeaux wines and afterwards the two cooperatives vinified them as entry-level wines for supermarkets. It is only in the last 20 years and the creation of the Domaine Elian Da Ros that the Côtes-du-Marmandais has been known as a real, serious wine region. - PL

Elian Da Ros and Sandrine Farrugia

"Our estate is located in Cocumont in the Côtes du Marmandais on the left bank of the Garonne. My father grew tomatoes, cereals, tobacco and vines there, bringing the grapes to the village cooperative cellar. As a child I dreamed of being a winegrower and from the age of 14 I started studying viticulture and oenology. In 1997, after having worked for 5 years in Alsace (Zind-Humbrecht), I chose to return to the family lands and build a cellar there to make my wine. 1998 is my first vintage. The estate now covers 19 hectares on hillsides on a soil of gravel and clay-limestone. The vines have been organic since 2000 and biodynamic since 2002."

Elian explaining...

With the exception of Abouriou, which is dedicated to this indigenous grape variety, all the wines are blends created with the greatest precision, from vin de soif to vin de garde. The sulfur doses are minimal, the wines are carefully raised on their fine lees. Today, the titanic work pays off, and the whole range radiates like a superb expression of a unique personality. They are to be discovered absolutely for any lover of true great Bordeaux or Loire Cabernet Franc on tuffeau. - PL

These are extraordinary wines made in a wide range of styles, all from great farming, with precise vinifications that create joyful wines of immediate pleasure as well as serious "vins de garde" that rival the best of Bordeaux.

"Le Vin est un Fête" as its name suggests, this wine is a wine of pleasure with a fruity and fresh character. The vinification is gentle without strong extraction in order to preserve the crunchy and round side of the grape. It is an all-purpose wine, its roundness and its fruitiness give it a beautiful "drinkability", but it is also supported by a delicate tannic structure inherent in our south-western grape varieties. It is therefore pleasant as an aperitif to share a drink with friends but also goes very easily with more generous dishes." - Elian

The 2019 "Outre Rouge" (85% Arbouriou with Malbec, Cab Franc and Syrah) and 2020 "Histoires de Boire" (Merlot and Arbouriou) draw inspiration from Elian and Sandrine's friend Eric Pfifferling at L'Anglore. These light-bodied reds are "serious wines and wines of pure pleasure, which is a rare combination!" Serve them lightly chilled over the next few years - "Histoires de Boire" exists only in magnums "as one bottle is never enough" says Elian.  The 2019 Arbouriou is a bit deeper and riper in style, vinified to highlight the unique qualities of this native grape - "I chose semi-carbonic maceration as a means of expression, but without losing the terroir and the special characteristics of the grape. Arbouriou is a fruity wine with touches of spice, all enveloped in a soft and supple tannic frame." - Elian

Elian with amphora

The 2018 "Vignoble d'Elian," 2018 "Chante Coucou" and the 2017 "Clos Baquey" are the estate's "serious" wines, in some ways reminicent of reds from the Loire and Bordeaux but remaining totally unique and different with their own fascinating identity. We urge you to try them - and don't delay as the quantities that make their way to NY are tiny...

And we love the 2019 Coucou Blanc! What a delicious wine - "atypical white for the region, certainly a legacy of my stay in Alsace. Floral nose, ample and fresh mouth with a tangy attack then flavors of citrus fruits, exotic fruits, mirabelle plum..."

(Thanks to Pascaline Lepeltier for text borrowed from her superb article that appeared here in April 2020)

(Quanties are confirmed, wines arrive Feb 8th, normal 10% case or mixed-case discount applies)

Da Ros, Elian 2019 Côtes du Marmandais Le Vin est Une Fête

(Available Feb 8th) Le Vin est une Fête is a signature cuvée by Elian, a tribute to the delicacy of Abouriou (its local nickname is “early gamay” even if it has nothing to do with the gamay grape) and the elegance of Cabernet Franc which he considers the "Pinot Noir from the South West," supplemented with Merlot. Coming from richer and loamy soils on gray marl, the Merlots and Cabernets are de-stemmed to keep their juicy fruit expression while the Abourious are vinified in semi-carbonic fermentation, all in concrete tank. Thanks to a short maceration (10 days), a very gentle extraction and a precise aging in old Provençal foudres for 10 months, the wine has a real gulpability without being simple.  Keep 3 to 5 years without a problem. 40% abouriou, 40% cabernet franc, 20% merlot.

  • red
  • 2 in stock
  • $21.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Da Ros, Elian 2019 Côtes du Marmandais Coucou Blanc

 60% Sauvignon Blanc – 10% Sauvignon Gris – 30% Semillon. Soil: clay-gravel on a blue marl subsoil. Vinification: Slow pressing, cold settling, fermentation and aging in casks and concrete eggs for 19 months."Atypical white for the region, certainly a legacy of my stay in Alsace. Floral nose, ample and fresh mouth with a tangy attack then aromas of citrus fruits, exotic fruits, mirabelle plum. Goes well with shellfish, spicy dishes, saffron, white meats, exotic cuisine. To drink young, or to keep to let other more complex aromas develop."- Elian

  • white
  • 5 in stock
  • $41.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Da Ros, Elian 2019 Côtes du Marmandais Outre Rouge

(Available Feb 8th) Outre-rouge is the new name for the Chante-Coucou rosé cuvée (Chante-Coucou is one of Elian's flagship cuvées, historically available in 3 colors). Elian does not like insipid rosés but loves those of L’Anglore (Eric Pfifferling is a close friend) or Olivier Jullien. So he made his rosé with these references in mind…so in 2011, the cuvée became a red claret, and got even more inspired by the crisp and slightly frizzy Italian reds like the Grignolino Elian enjoys so much. Predominantly made from younger vines of Abouriou, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah, the musts are worked 3 ways - direct press, semi-carbonic and saignée. They are then aged 18 months in large casks, blended and bottled with a little lees to allow a light frizzante in bottle.  It is a serious wine and a wine of pure pleasure, which is a rare combination! Perfect slightly chilled, drink it over the next 3 years. 85% Abouriou, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, 5% Syrah. PL/EL

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Da Ros & Farrugia 2020 Côtes du Marmandais Histoire de Boire 1.5 L

(Available Feb 8th) In her previous life, Sandrine Farrugia worked for a Japanese company, discovering and exporting natural wines to Japan. Then she met Elian, and in 2008 moved from Paris to Cocumont. Over the years, she helped him more and more in the vineyard and the cellar until she decided in 2012 to start her own wine project. One of Sandrine’s dream cuvées was to do one day a wine like L’Anglore’s reds, with an immediate juiciness yet with layers - something very complicated to achieve with the local Marmandais grapes and climate.  To give it a little bit more body and fruit, Elian added some of his Clos Baquey young Merlot vinified in carbonic maceration, aged in cement tank and here it was, “Histoire de Boire” was created with their 4 hands. A happy accident, the wine was originally presented only to friends who requested the wines to be bottled in magnums only, as the 750 format was too small… 2020 is the fourth vintage, and we are really happy to be able to offer this wine, which really tastes like L’Anglore with an Atlantic touch: a little saltier, crunchier with fresh medicinal herbs, chill it and enjoy it with any spring dish, or keep it a little to share when the time will come with friends around a barbecue. 70% Merlot, 30% Abouriou.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $67.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Da Ros, Elian 2019 Côtes du Marmandais Abouriou (Feb 8th)

(Available Feb 8th)  90% Abouriou + 10% Merlot assembled from numerous parcels of clay/gravel and clay/limestone terroir. Not de-stemmed, maceration semi-carbonic for 12 days. Aged for 15 months in used foudres and large barrels. "I chose semi-carbonic maceration as a means of expression, but without losing the terroir and the special characteristics of the grape. Arbouriou is a fruity wine with touches of spice, all enveloped in a soft and supple tannic frame. It's a wine od the Southwest vinified...differently."

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $28.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Da Ros, Elian 2018 Côtes du Marmandais Vignoble d'Elian

(Available Feb 8th) Le Vignoble d’Elian is the entry into the cuvées de garde of the estate, and in this case for me it is where Chinon meets Crozes-Hermitage. Grown on white clay soils with sandy deposits of iron and manganese, the 40-year-old Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah bring some volume, giving a firm yet sleek tannic structure. The addition of young vines from Clos Baquey (a superb plot on limestone scree) brings a sweetness to the mid-palate. De-stemmed, the grapes are macerated for 2 to 3 weeks in concrete vat with very soft extractions, then aged separately for a minimum of 18 months in old Provençal foudres. Keep it 5 to 8 years. 50% cabernet franc, 30% merlot, 20% syrah. 

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $31.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Da Ros, Elian 2018 Côtes du Marmandais Chante Coucou

(Available Feb 8th) Chante-Coucou is the emblematic cuvée of the domain, and the one I would open to any Bordeaux lover in order to convince them of Elian's talent. More opulent and juicy due to its dominant Merlot, it still retains the unique personality of its terroir and its vigneron. Supplemented with Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Syrah from clay-gravelly soils on gray and blue marly sedimentary conglomerates (called “molasse” in French) the different terroirs allow Elian to play with the different tannic expressions of these four grape varieties. He vinifies them separately: Syrah and Malbec are macerated whole-clustered in open foudres, the Merlot and the Cabernet Sauvignon are de-stemmed. Macerations last two to three weeks. Aged 20 months in used barrels, the wines are blended together en masse 6 months before bottling. Enjoy the wine decanted for an hour or so with Provencal herb rubbed lamb shoulder with vine shoots or a pan-fried foie gras with cranberry and spring carrot. 50% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Malbec, 10% Syrah.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $39.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Da Ros, Elian 2017 Côtes du Marmandais Clos Baguey

(Available Feb 8th) Clos Baquey is the grande cuvée of the domain. It is a wine I love instead of Saint-Emilion or Pessac grands crus as its quality and its value for money are remarkable. On a 5 ha plot of clay and limestone on sedimentary conglomerates (called “molasse” in French) facing south, Elian isolates the best part, 2 ha with the best vines of Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc, Merlot and Abouriou, the latter bringing an originality of red and licorice berries with a more traditional Bordeaux blend from the other three varieties. Everything is de-stemmed except the Abouriou (macerated whole cluster but not using carbonic). The limestone enhancing the acidity and the acidity enhancing the tannin, Elian imposes on this cuvée a precise and meticulous aging where the components are blended only at the end of 22 months minimum in barrels. The final blend is then aged for a year in a concrete tank then a year in bottle before being released. It’s a big investment for a domain of this size and in a little-known appellation - neither the Burgundians nor the Bordelais usually go through such length! This gives a superb wine which just starts to open after a few years. The attack is silky, the ripe berries respond to oriental herbs, the aging process can hardly be guessed. We can only note how dense the juice is without any heaviness, a tangy and crystalline finish delineating expressive and sleek tannins. This cuvée reveals the potential of Marmandais as an alternative to Bordeaux, and is made also for aging. If you want to drink it today, decant for two hours and serve in a large glass. Superb with roast duck and truffled juice. 35% cabernet franc, 35% merlot, 15% abouriou, 15% cabernet sauvignon.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $59.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur