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La Rétro

La Rétro has been in the works for a few years after tasting some experimental cuvées with Jean-Marc Lafage. Years […]

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La Rétro

La Rétro has been in the works for a few years after tasting some experimental cuvées with Jean-Marc Lafage. Years ago, his father and grandfather sold most of their grapes to the local cooperative to be made into vin doux. After these grapes had been picked, his extended family would gather together to harvest those parcels that never quite reached the maturity levels required to sell them profitably. These sites were out of the way, sheltered, inauspiciously situated, and slow to ripen. And the style of wine made from them was satisfying, moderate in alcohol, light in body, and with a juicy fruit expression that perfectly suited family meals and everyday drinking. This was when wine was less of a lifestyle and more an integral part of a well-balanced life.

La Rétro is a recreation of a style of wine from the last century.

La Rétro is so unpretentious and joyful that we could think of no better way to capture this than putting it in our first 1-liter bottle. Usually, we’d take a moment at this point to trace the history of the 1L bottle from the Weinviertel of Austria to the bottleshops shops of Paris, San Francisco, Copenhagen, and Brooklyn.

But that isn’t La Rétro.

Retro isn’t about current history but the past. Nowadays, most people understand that a 1L bottle means fun, exuberant, uncomplicated pleasure. La Rétro is made from those same slow-to-ripen vineyards in the back country of the Roussillon – Les Fenouillades.

On a recent visit, we travelled from Maury where the grapes were rich and dense with dark fruit flavors that coated your palate. A short distance away over a mountain pass (pictured on the right), we arrived at Les Fenouillades. The black schist soils had been replaced with chalky limestone mixed with large pieces of quartz, marble and granite. The temperatures had dropped and the morning fog was still clinging to the pine covered slopes all around us. Here the grapes were still crackling with acidity. Ripe with red fruit peppery and herbal flavors intertwined – this is the fruit for Rétro and its moderate alcohol somewhere in the vacinity of 12%.

Made mainly from Grenache (60%), La Rétro includes a healthy portion of Carignan (30%), a little Grenache Gris (7%), and a touch of Lladoner (3%). As the grapes are picked and brought to the cellar, they are lightly crushed and placed whole-cluster into a fermentation vat for a short spontaneous fermentation with minimal extraction. After pressing, it is kept in tank until bottling. This is just how Jean-Marc’s father and grandfather made wines for their family a half century ago. But, rather than tell you what we think it tastes like, I’ll leave you with this amusing opinion from Tamlyn Currin of wrote when she was first introduced to the 2020 La Rétro:

Cheeky, cheeky, cheeky! Ping-pongs around the mouth, paintballing cherry wine gums and raspberry fruit chews and Parma-violet candy in all directions. (Don’t get me wrong, though – the wine is dry, not sweet; just so packed with such cheerful fruit that it’s like being flash-mobbed by singing strawberries!) The tannins are not even an afterthought. They were abandoned in the press along with all pretensions and all thoughts of tomorrow. I love it!


“It amazes me that it's possible to make such a crazy-fresh glou-glou mouth-watering wine from the terroir of Roussillon. A terroir that bends the rules: perhaps Roussillon is the definition of the 'theory of singularity' in wine?”

– Tamlyn Currin,


  • Red
  • Rose
  • White
  • Cider + Orange
  • Vegan
  • Certified Organic
  • Biodynamic
Roussillon, France
  • Location
    Roussillon, France
  • Primary Appellation
    Côtes Catalanes
  • Proprietor
    Eric Solomon & Jean-Marc Lafage
  • Winemaker
    Jean-Marc Lafage
  • Size / Elevation
    hectares / 15-300 meters
  • Age of Vines
    20-50+ years
  • Farming
  • Varieties
    Grenache, Carignan, Grenache Gris, Lladoner
  • Cellar
    Hand harvested, whole cluster fermentation