Along Came Jones Sleeping Beauty Grenache Gris is a white wine made by Katie Jones owner and founder of Domaine Jones. This wine is the result of a happy mistake. Way back when Katie’s winery was vandalised in 2012 and all of the taps were opened on her vats of white wine, one barrel of 2009 survived, but ended up being forgotten about. It was discovered 4 years later, and the semi-oxidised style was a huge success, so much so that Katie now makes one barrel of Grenache Gris in this style every year. It is bottled as a Vin de France.
Katie Jones was originally working for a local wine co-operative when she fell in love with some old vine vineyards around the village of Tuchan in the department of Aude, not far from Maury. Katie initially made Domaine Jones Red and White from her own vineyards and later purchased a vineyard in Fitou. Today she has even more projects including the Along Came Jones range. Katie is married to French winemaker Jean-Marc Astruc whose family also have vineyards in Fitou and I notice that the Along Came Jones range is bottled by Domaine Astruc Jones SAS, so perhaps the fruit comes from both Katie’s and Jean-Marc’s vineyards.
2018 is Katie’s 10th vintage and the Along Came Jones range of wines have been released, as Katie says, to “to find a more personalised approach to tell my story to my customers and share the back story behind each wine – I think the unique presentation of the Along Came Jones range achieves this in a fun and engaging way – visualising the stories really brings it all to life.” To this end the labels of the range feature a comic strip telling the story of each wine and the Jones story. As well as the Along Came Jones Sleeping Beauty Grenache Gris, there are three other wines in the range which are the Difference Grenache Noir, Double Identity Syrah and the Lledoner Pelut “Hairy Grenache”.
The grapes for the Along Came Jones Sleeping Beauty Grenache Gris are hand harvested from a vineyard in Maury and transferred to the tiny “La Gare” winery in Tuchan in small 12kg crates. The wine is fermented in a small stainless steel vat after which it is transferred to a single French oak barrique (225L). In the oak barrel, the lees are stirred every week for 6 months. The wine is then left to age in barrel for 4 years and is regularly topped up to compensate for evaporation. The wine is bottled after 4 years and is then aged for a further year in bottle prior to release.
An unusual style of oxidised white wine, think dry Sherry without spirit added for fortification. A very interesting wine.