Terres des Templiers Rancio Sec descends from an ancient tradition preserved by Catalan winemakers of the Côte Vermeille. From old-vine Grenache noir found on its schist-dominated, terraced vineyards overlooking the sea, the wine is first aged out-of-doors in old demi-muids before returning to the cellars of the producer for extended oxidative aging in old Banyuls casks. The wine is a blend with an average age of 10-12 years spent in partially-filled barrels, resulting in its pronounced rancio character.
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.