Chateau de Caladroy Cotes du Roussillon-Villages Cuvee Les Schistes 2018, France

In its heyday, Chateau de Caladroy was a small outpost high in the arid hills behind Perpignan. It had its own school, workers’ quarters, stables, an elegant nineteenth-century chapel, a manor house and other dwellings, and an ancient fortress dating from the 12th century – for Caladroy was once a fortress on the ancient Kingdom of Majorca’s frontier. All of this is perched on a knoll; below, on a broad saddle of a ridge, grow the vineyards. Les Schistes is named after its vineyard’s spartan, stony soil. This wine is distinctly of Roussillon, filled with dark, spicy, generous fruit that superbly compliments strongly-flavored Catalan cuisine. The blend is Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, and Mourvedre, and the grapes come from Caladroy’s sun-drenched vineyards 350 meters above the Mediterranean. These vineyards grow in the lee of the towering Pyrenees and are among the lowest yielding in Roussillon, the rugged home to French Catalonia.