In 2002 Pierre Gaillard purchased the old estate of Pagès and went into partnership with a former member of the local co-operative Jean Baills and his son Matthieu. Jean and Matthieu not only brought their wide knowledge of the terroir, the local weather and the history of the cru but also about 15 hectares of vineyard containing mostly old Grenache and Carignan vines, as well as plantings of Mourvèdre, Syrah, Vermentino and others. All these have been added to the original seven hectares of the Domaine Pagès, and new plantings have been under way since 2003.
The production process, known in France as mutage, is similar to that used to make Port. Alcohol is added to the must to kill the active yeast which then stops the fermentation while sugar levels are still high, preserving the natural sweetness of the grape. The wines are then matured in oak barrels, or outside in glass bottles exposed to the sun, allowing the wine to maderise. The maturation period is a minimum of ten months for Banyuls AOC. The resulting wine bears a similarity to port but tends to be lower in alcohol (≈16% vs. ≈20%).
Warm and rich, but not overly sweet! 90% Grenache, 10% Grenache Gris. 17% alcohol. 4,000 bottles