2013 Domaine Aubai Mema Grenache Vieilles Vignes "Lunatico" Gard Rouge

SKU #1272395

Winemaker Mark Haynes may be many things: entrepreneur, winemaker, tango dancer; but there is one thing that he is not—conventional. I first met Mark in New York at a trade fair and we immediately hit it off. I loved his wines, so this meeting led to a visit to his winery on my April buying trip. Mark is a spirited man who came to winemaking late in life when he realized that so many producers in the Gard region were turning their backs on winemaking and farming. The region is in the south of France about 30 minutes from Nimes. It was his summer home in his childhood and he always had a fondness for it. Looking for a new challenge in his life, he fled to the village of Aubais and began investigating. Mark began organic farming when he purchased his first vineyards in 2002. The winery is housed in the defunct cooperative facility that he purchased in 2006 and began renovating. Aubai Mema has 10 hectares of vineyards and produces about 4,000-plus cases of wine annually, but the cooperative actually had the capacity to make upwards of 5,000,000 bottles annually before it closed. A large chunk of the building was turned into a dance studio where Mark hosts his weekly milongas or “Argentine tango dances.” It turns out that Mark is as equally obsessed with tango as he is with winemaking. (Keith Mabry, K&L Rhone and French Regional wine buyer)

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Staff Image By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/30/2016 | Send Email
The flagship wine, the “Lunatico” is a lush and velvety Grenache made from old-vine fruit from a north-facing vineyard that Mark farms biodynamically. Lunatico in French is a person who is changeable or ruled by the phases of the moon. In Spanish and English we think of someone who is lunatico as crazy. It’s almost too on point when you think of Mark’s story and his journey into wine. He will admit you have to be lunatico to be in the wine business, both changeable and a little crazy. A great takeaway from my experience with Mark and his outstanding winery is that you may have to be a little crazy to immerse yourself this deeply in the life experience. But with all the joy and pleasure that his hard work brings, from winemaking to dancing to living life to its fullest, you have to be a little Lunatico not to.

Staff Image By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/22/2016 | Send Email
Beautiful Grenache from an area in Eastern Languedoc (very close to the Rhone). It has a deep transparent ruby hue, and smells like wild blackberries and ripe blueberries with floral undertones. The purity of fruit is great, and 18 months in new and used oak gives it an added texture that suggests it would age very well. An impressive new find from our direct import program!​

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- Fat, ripe and rich with ample fruit and vibrant acidity, wines made from Grenache are easy to love. While its origins are still under dispute - some suggest Spain, where it is called Garnacha, while others say it came first from Sardinia, where it is called Cannonau - it is inarguably one of the most planted varietals in the world. A hearty grape, Grenache does well in hot, dry regions and its sturdy stalk also makes it well-suited to withstand blustery conditions like the Provençal Mistral. It ripens at relatively high sugar levels, which translates to higher potential alcohol in the wines it produces. Grenache may be most famous in the Southern Rhône areas such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas where it has long been an important component of delicious blends. But it's also the source of the crisp rosés from Tavel, Lirac and Provence, and age-worthy vins doux naturels like Rivsaltes and Banyuls. Grenache is also found in large swaths of northeastern Spain, in Navarre, in Rioja, where it plays a supporting role in blends with Tempranillo, and in the distinctive wines of Priorat. The grape was once the most widely planted varietal in Australia, though Shiraz and Cabernet have overtaken it. In California, Grenache plantings have dwindled from their heyday in the San Joaquin Valley, but it is starting to see a resurgence, albeit in smaller plantings, where other Rhône varietals thrive.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.


Alcohol Content (%): 13.5