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Domaine Le Roc des Anges

Le Roc des Anges is not the kind of domaine you expect to find in the Roussillon. 

Marjorie and Stéphane Gallet, both transplants from other parts of France (Côte Rotie and Normandy, respectively), have constructed an organic and biodynamic wine sanctuary in the Vallée de l’Agly, a nearly deserted vineyard land dominated by co-ops and famous for producing fortified wines.

The locals continue to abandon vines every year because the yields are tragically low, making it one of the most difficult places in France to make a living in vineyards.

Marjorie and Stephane produce very small quantities of wines under the Le Roc des Anges label, committing to ecological practices and minimal intervention in both the vineyard and the winery.

With vines up to 100 years old, the resulting wines are complex and expressive of their unique terroir and benefit from excellent ageing potential.


About the Team

Marjorie Gallet was born in Grenoble and grew up in the Northern Rhône. She spent her childhood and teenage years surrounded by Condrieu and Côte-Rôtie vineyards, and with parents who loved wine. She too soon developed a passion for wine which vied for dominance alongside her other love – horses. 

Stéphane was born in Normandy and met Marjorie at the agronomy school in Montpellier, where at the school’s horse club their relationship was sealed. 

In the holidays the couple would on go vacation to the Roussillon, and it was here that they began to understand the potential of Roussillon vines, with the old-vine Carignan impressing Marjorie in particular. 

Marjorie then apprenticed at Domaine Gauby, and it was here that she learned about the “philosophy of wine, beyond science” from the famous, eponymous vigneron, Gérard Gauby. Stéphane apprenticed at Cuilleron and Les Vins de Vienne, after which he worked at an equally famous domaine in Mas Amiel. 

Marjorie subsequently founded Le Roc des Anges in 2001 and was joined by Stéphane in 2008. The name, meaning ‘Rock of the Angels’, was inspired by an old Carignan vineyard on the domaine, planted on a vein of quartz surrounded by black schist in a lieu-dit called ‘Roc Blanc’. This vineyard reminded Marjorie of Côte-Rôtie, her home, and an angel was chosen to represent the vein of quartz, hence ‘Roc des Anges’. 


In the vineyard

Le Roc des Anges comprises 22 hectares in the village of Montner, near Latour-de-France, in the Pyrénées-Orientales départment. 

The domain was founded against the backdrop of the Força Real Mountains. The vines are located on the extreme northern side of the Roussillon on shallow rocky soils in which the bedrock is less than one metre down in most parts of the vineyards. The white quartz soil here is one of the most distinguishing parts when compared to the other areas of black schist nearby. 

Protected from the ocean winds and humidity, most of the vines have a phenomenal average age of about 70 to 100 years, with approximately 40% over 95 years old. The varietals grown include Carignan Noir, Gris and Blanc; Grenache Noir, Gris and Blanc; Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Maccabeu among others.

The Gallet’s practise only organic and biodynamic viticultural techniques as they believe it brings out the best of the fruits that they grow with so much care and compassion to the environment.

Le Roc des Anges have been certified organic since 2008 and certified biodynamic since 2011.


In the cellar

The Gallet’s take a minimal intervention approach to their winemaking in order to coax the truest expression of the vines and their site into the bottle.

For red wines, the bunches are usually destemmed (‘Ùnic’ being the exception). Ambient yeast fermentation follows with pieds de cuve in closed concrete tanks for 7 days, before the must is pressed and racked back to tank to finish fermentation. No temperature control is used and no punching down or pump overs. All wines are aged in tank and bottled without fining and just a light filtration. Total sulphur at bottling is very low – just 30 to 50ppm - though it is not all added because the yeasts in the terroir produce a substantial amount on their own during fermentation.

For whites and rosé wines, whole clusters are pressed. Must is settled without cooling. Ambient yeast fermentation with no sulphur additions in barrels and foudres (228, 500, and 1500L) that are mostly used. Despite very low pH’s, malolactic conversion tends to happen. No fining and a just a light filtration before bottling. Total sulphur at bottling just 40 to 60 ppm.

Wines by this producer

Estate Wines: Segna de Cor (an anagram meaning ‘Blood of the Heart’, a blend of 40% Grenache Noir, 30% Carignan, 30% Syrah from around 20 small parcels based on schists), Reliefs (Carignan co-fermented with a little Grenache Gris, Grenache Blanc, and Macabeu, from small parcels on schists including the lieu-dit ‘Roc Blanc’) and 1903 (100% old-vine Carignan from parcels planted in 1903 on schist).
Single-vineyard Wines: Ùnic (100% Grenache Noir from a single parcel of well-draining, decomposed schist, 100% whole cluster).

Discover the Domaine Le Roc des Anges Range →

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