Domaine Matassa is located in the hills surrounding the town of Calce in Roussillon, France. The estate is the project of Tom Lubbe, a Kiwi who grew up in South Africa. After working in winemaking in South Africa during the 1990’s, Tom spent three years working at Domaine Gauby with Gerard Gauby. While there the cheeky git married Gerard’s sister, after which Tom decided to stay in France and start his own estate.
The vineyards are organic certified and unirrigated with co-planting between rows. The soils here being mainly schist and marl, sitting at around 550m. The end goal here is to move away from monoculture with co-planted vineyards. There is already a real mix here with varieties ranging from more common grapes (Mourvedre, Grenache, Muscat, etc) to old traditional grapes (Lledoner Pelut anyone). New plantings are mixed up amongst the old vines and consist primarily of old local varieties. The winemaking is minimal with no additions.
These wines have quite the following and it is not hard to see why, they are pretty darn good. The focus here is on freshness and terroir, with Tom passionate about the health of the land and supporting ancient varieties. Techniques like whole bunches, co-ferment of whites in the reds and short macerations are all done to increase freshness and reduce extraction. The result is lively, bright and complex wines that are well worth seeking out.