Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Maury, centred on the village in the Agly Valley of the same name, was one of roussillon’s famous vins doux naturels, a cousin from the hilly hinterland of seaside banyuls, and produced in greater quantity. But in 2012 an appellation for its red wines was authorized, in recognition of the increasing importance of these less alcoholic, terroir-driven, dry wines in the region, previously sold as vin de pays des Côtes Catalanes (its whites are igp Côtes Catalanes), at the expense of strong, sweet wines. Maury is on high inland schist at the northern limit of the Côtes du Roussillon-Villages area in the Agly valley. The ruins of the Cathar castle of Quéribus, a constant reminder of the area’s harsh natural environment, dominate the village of Maury. Summers are hot and dry, though slightly cooler in the higher west of the appellation. Both dry reds and red vins doux naturels are based substantially on Grenache Noir, with Carignan, Mourvèdre, and Syrah playing a subsidiary role in the dry reds and Grenache of other hues doing the same for the fast-declining production of vins doux naturels. The latter are invariably strong and sweet, those described as grenat or tuilé being based on Grenache Noir, although Grenache Blanc and Grenache Gris may be used for the occasional vin doux naturel described as ambré or blanc. The co-operative, Les Vignerons du Maury, dominates production but since the 1990s the region has attracted an exceptional number of incomers too.