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Extraordinary Mediterranean Wines from Domaine de l'Horizon

Stylized image of Domaine de l’Horizon bottle

The village of Calce counts something like 200 habitants, yet it’s one of the most exciting places in France for wine production. It’s located in the Roussillon, a few miles outside of the medieval city of Perpignan and a half hour’s drive from the Spanish border. While it’s politically French, more importantly, it is Catalan, culturally and linguistically. And, we’ll see, viticulturally.

Its proximity to the Mediterranean offers some respite from the hot climate of Southern France. The vineyards lie at relatively high elevation; cool nights help temper the heat, too. Winds sweep in from the north and the east, making organic farming easier and keeping acid and alcohol levels in check. And the village’s soils are dramatically diverse — there are multiple types of slate, iron-rich marls, alluvial gravels and more.

Domaine de l’Horizon is a benchmark producer of this wild and fascinating little region. German-born Thomas Theibert was inspired by Gerard Gauby’s hands-off approach: farming is biodynamic, and in the cellar, there's little to no manipulation. Thomas worked and consulted for wineries in France and Italy, and managed exports for Stockinger, the Austrian cooperage that provides barrels to the wine world’s hottest wineries. But when he landed in Calce, and saw the promise of its centurion vines and unique terroir, he knew it would be his home for a long time.

‘Mar y Muntanya’ (Sea and Mountains in Catalan) is a blend of 45% each Syrah and Carignan with a splash of Grenache. Semi-carbonic and raised in a mix of cement and large oak barrels, it is an exuberant expression of southern sunshine and rugged, Mediterranean elegance. It’s a wine to drink while it’s young and fresh, to enjoy its silky fruit and cool stoniness. It's our favorite kind of glou glou: juicy and fun, but with a real sense of place on display.

L’Esprit de l’Horizon Blanc is mostly Macabeo — one of Spanish Catalonia’s most important grapes — with some Muscat added to the blend for perfume and spice. It’s so fresh, light, and elegant that you’ll be hard pressed to call it as a Southern French wine — it feels more spiritually akin to something from the Loire, with its minerality and flavors of citrus and wildflowers.

Domaine de l’Horizon, Côtes Catalanes Blanc 'L'Esprit de l'Horizon', 2021 $32.99

Domaine de l’Horizon, Côtes Catalanes Rouge 'Mar i Muntanya', 2022 $27.99


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