Domaine de l’Agramante
Carlo La Rocca
Salmanazar met Carlo la Rocca in early 2019 as he was standing by Mas de Libian in Grenier Saint Jean fair, presenting his first cuvée Ciaüla 2018.
From Italian engineer to French winemaker
Carlo was born and raised in Sicilia where he studied industrial engineering. He moved to France 15 years ago, still working in the chemical industry, a sector in which he wasn’t comfortable enough to spend the 15 next years. During a quite random visit at Domaine Mélaric in Sancerre, Carlo was inspired by the connection with nature, the range of competencies handled by the vintner and the “slow life” of the domaine, which was the opposite of his lifestyle then.
After few months of reflexion, Carlo started a two-years course in Beaune. That was in 2015. This is when he went for a week of practice at Mas de Libian, were he got good connections with the team. In 2017, he started to look for vines to buy. At first his researches focused on Hérault, Languedoc, but he was advised to look for fresher terroir due to the various droughts that affected Languedoc in the past years.
In February 2018 Carlo bought two plots located in Sabran, 2 hectares mainly planted of red Grenache and also Syrah and Counoise, a local variety. The bigger plot is structured in beautiful terraces facing South while the second one, tinier, is quite flat and surrounded by woods, facing North. If their soil is similar -the north of Sabran is almost exclusively sandy- the second plot is way fresher and wetter, which explains why Carlo harvests on month later there.
2019 was the years of expansion, the domaine is now 4.3 hectares big as Carlo bought a whole lot of terraces vines planted with more Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Bourboulenc (white local grape). He also bought a little tractor to make the viticulture easier.
Globally, Carlo’s beneficiates from fresh terroir, and the sandy soils brings finesse to the wine.
The vines are conducted in the organic way and Carlo is asking for certification. The sandy soil makes quite easy the soil cultivation which is convenient as Carlo works on his own.
As Carlo only started with some vines, he was hosted by Mas de Libian to proceed to vinification. He could take advantage of the materials facilities but also of the team experience which helped him going through his first year with success. 2019 vinification also took place at Mas de Libian.
Carlo fully destems his grape and fill the steel tank without crushing the berries. Maceration and fermentation go on quite fast with daily pumping overs. After approximately 12 days Carlo proceeds to pressing. Then both free run wine and wine from the press rest for 3-4 days to completely end up with fermentation and decant. Malolactic fermentation takes place soon after.
Sulphur is used as a security after malolactic fermentation and at the bottling. Free sulphurs concentration doesn’t exceed 0.4g/l.
The vintage 2018 gave birth to the cuvée Ciaüla (55% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 5% Counoise) and 2019 should permit to produce one or two additional cuvées, all red.
The production is approximately 20 00 bottles.
Building l’Agramante cellar
2020 will see the cellar construction right next the vines, the vinification should take place in this brand-new building that Carlo wants to be low-power consuming. He wishes to cultivate Sicilian indigenous old varieties, but for now, we wouldn’t be authorized to vinify them. To be continued….
Email us at email@example.com to get further information regarding cuvées’ availability and distribution opportunity.