English couple Jack & Margaret Reckitt’s groundbreaking new wine Far From the Eye is made entirely from Len de l’El (in modern French Loin de l’Oeil), an obscure and ancient grape native to Gaillac that took a pummelling from phylloxera. It gets its name from the vine’s long stems, meaning grape bunches are far from the ‘eye’, or vine bud. This is a dry white, but it is usually a sweet wine and where dry, blended with other grapes like Mauzac.
Clos Rocailleux is a tiny wine farm in Andillac, where English husband & wife team Jack and Margaret Reckitt live surrounded by their vines. They’re passionate about looking after super rare native grapes like Duras, Braucol (also known as Fer Servadou), Mauzac, and latterly some intriguing Len de l’El. Limestone soils (see photo below right) and good elevation of 300 metres make for cracking growing conditions for Jack & Margaret’s vines, some of which are as much as 60-years old.
Once plentiful now scarce grape Len de l’El (Loin de l’Œil in modern French) grown on limestone and clay soils at 300 metres above sea level in its Gaillac home, in a south-westerly vineyard. Picked in September 2015 at a low yield of 30 hl/hectare. Gently pressed, fermented in stainless steel, bottled in April 2016. Just 800 bottles made.
Dry and clean, very good acidity and full in the mouth, subtle aroma of tropical fruit.
The specially designed bottle shows Rob and winemaker Jack in the winery literally staring into tank samples of the unfinished wine. It’s a triumph, but there are only a few hundred bottles available each year.