The story begins in 2012 when four friends sat around a table in a Belgian restaurant enjoying a good meal. That evening, an opera and buffet were being held with celebrated soprano Noémie Schellens. A few months later, the sweet-sounding name of this outstanding singer would become the signature of a wine. And this year, that wine garnered a Revelation award at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles.
This extraordinary story got off to a very quick start. A number of vineyard blocks were bought over the coming weeks and months, first some Grenache in Maury, then a block of Syrah in Montner and finally a beautiful Grenache noir vineyard in Tautavel. But then the real work began. Franck Galangau, the director of the Vignerons d’Agly co-operative, gave the wine’s creators a free rein to experiment and develop the winemaking style they were looking for. And it would prove to be a unique experience and a dream come true for the group. One of them, Stéfan Wauters recounts: “I handle the production side in close collaboration with my friend, the winemaker at the Estagel co-operative where our wines are vinted, separately from the other wines at the winery. Throughout the year, I come between six and eight times to follow through the various stages of production, from harvesting through to the bottling of our wines. So, even though this is a Franco-Belgian project, it is 80% Belgian because the three vineyards belong to us and we make all the winemaking decisions”. After just a few years, the wine has reached the highest step on the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles podium, winning the international red wine trophy. “This is an absolute joy because this project means a lot to us. Obviously, winning this type of accolade is extremely rewarding!”
“This is an absolute joy because this project means a lot to us. Obviously, winning this type of accolade is extremely rewarding!”
A logical choice of name and an inspiring label
As the crystal-clear voice that accompanied the group of friends on that original evening, Noémie was the logical choice of name for the wine. The graphic design of the bottle is also highly meaningful. The shape itself denotes French traditions, its gentle curves recalling a female silhouette. The white engraving of the label stands out against the dark bottle and features a drawing of a singer with an open-back dress. All of these choices mirror a desire to focus on a unique wine.
A wine with melodious notes
Noémie is made from hand-selected grapes grown on the finest vineyard sites in the South of France – Grenache from Tautavel and Maury and Syrah grown on the schist soils of Montner at an elevation of 300 metres. The wine was partially fermented in new barrels then matured for 18 months. It makes the perfect companion for meat-based dishes, game, poultry and a cheese platter.