Domaine des Soulanes, Daniel Laffite

France, Roussillon


1 Star Revue du Vin de France



Daniel Laffite is the very embodiment of a “Fenouillede”. He makes Maury (some of the best), he makes bold, rich, velvety reds and now some balanced white wines. He is a very bright young man, quick to learn but rooted in the soil of his vineyards. These vineyards are situated at the eastern end of the long valley around Maury, near Tautavel. The grapes of Maury are Grenache and Carignan, and Daniel knows how to handle them both for vin doux and superb table wine. He is aided by the fact that Carignan, here, in what is actually part of Catalonia, gets truly ripe, characterized by both physiological and phenolic ripeness.      

“Before falling into the hands of Daniel Laffite, the estate had been in the possession of only one family since the beginning of the 20th century. During this period the sole method of cultivation had been “culture raisonnée”,  the voluntary use of biologically sustainable cultivation.  At the end of the nineties, after working for 15 years in close collaboration with the last owner, both in the cellar and in vineyard, Daniel Laffite and his wife Cathy decided to buy the Domaine and re-name it Domaine des Soulanes - a soulane is a hillside with south/southeast exposure.  The new name is appropriate as virtually all the 18 parcels of the domaine´s 17 hectares face southeast. Situated in the commune of Tautavel, in a natural corridor surrounded by the garrigue, the property backs onto precipitous, south facing limestone escarpments dominated by the Cathar castle of Queribus.  The three Mediterranean varieties, Grenache, Carignan and Syrah are ideally suited to the steep and rocky terrain. The vines thrive on the arid slopes of calcareous clay, metamorphic schist and sedimentary marne.  An average of260 days of sunshine a year, combined with the strong, clean, prevailing northwest winds help to protect the grapes from disease and mold.   No weed killers or pesticides are used. The vineyards are ploughed several times a year. This not only reduces competition for precious moisture from weeds, but also encourages the roots to dig deeper and remain close to the bedrock, ensuring that the wines reflect the minerals in which they are grown.  The plantation density is 4000 and 5000 vines per hectare, producing 18-25Hl/ha.  Pruning is done by hand, as is all other work both in the vineyard and cellar.  All harvesting is done by hand into flat crates.  Each variety and parcel is vinified separately. The grapes are sorted by hand and then taken by gravity to the destemmer. Extraction methods vary with the year. Our wines are made under strict temperature controls, using only traditional methods (no carbonic maceration and no added yeast). The length of maceration depends on the vintage.  Bottled at the domaine, our wines are not filtered and a light deposit is normal.  Our wines are well balanced with great character and concentration. They express our passion for our Domaine and the wines we produce.”  - Cathy and Daniel Laffite


Technical Information

Wine Varietals Vine Age Soil Type Farming Type
Kaya Blanc 30% Grenache Gris, 30% Grenache Blanc, 20% Carignan Blanc, 20% Carignan Gris 65 years Clay and granite scree Organic
Kaya Rouge Carignan Noir 30 years Clay and granite scree Organic
Les Salines 85% Grenache, 15% Carignan Noir n/a Various parcels, clay-limestone, schist, and marl Organic
Cuvée Jean Pull 40% Grenache Noir, 30% Carignan Noir, 15% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah Average 25 years Clay-limestone and metamorphic schist Organic
Sarrat Del Mas 50% Grenache Noir, 25% Carignan Noir, 25% Syrah Average 30 years Various parcels: clay-limestone, schist, and marl Organic
A.O.P. Maury Vin Doux Naturel Grenache Noir 30 years Schist and sedimentary marl Organic
A.O.P. Maury Vielles Vignes Vin Doux Naturel Grenache Noir 50 years Schist Organic