The barrels that winemaker Georges Puig blends to produce ‘Pyror’ were first set down in the early 1960s by his father and grandfather, and have been maintained as “perpetual barrels” ever since, with small amounts withdrawn every few years. The wine—equal parts Grenache blanc, Grenache gris and Macabeu—slowly concentrates in the ancient oak and chestnut barrels, gaining a particular combination of polish and rusticity.
Technically dry, the wine is marked by a subtle impression of sweetness, memory of a touch of Rivesaltes mistakenly added by Georges’ father decades ago. Best as a digestif, or with richer cheeses including sweeter blues.
Roussillon is home to one of the oldest forms of winemaking, a tradition for aged dry wines that predates modern viticulture. Known throughout Catalonia (Catalunya) as Rancio Sec (or alternately Vi Ranci), these are dry, unfortifi ed wines that are often kept in the sun in glass demijohns, then transferred to partially fi lled old oak barrels for no less than 5 years. It is this oxidation process, further evolving over decades in soleras, that gives rise to the bouquet of unique tastes (fresh walnut, curry spices, cocoa, light bitterness) that characterizes Rancio Sec. Made in very small quantities, typically for the winemaker’s family and guests, its historic if endangered status is recognized by Slow Food France.