Maxime-Francois Laurent started his small wine-merchant business in 2006, in parallel with the domaine activity. His business consists of a partnership with a local winemaker whose vineyard spreads across 6 hectares located around the villages of Montbrison sur Lez and Valreas. He vinifies naturally: no addition of sulfites upon vatting, fermentation only with natural yeasts, no fining, no filtration, only little sulfiting after malolactic fermentation.
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Maxime Francois Laurent is part of the mother-son duo behind Domaine Gramenon. Co-authoring the wines at Kermit Lynch's Southern Rhone benchmark grower sounds like a full-time job. And yet, Maxime also has an eponymous label for wines he makes on is own.They're beautiful wines that, like Gramenon, magically balance sunny, Southern Rhone fruit with a limestone structure and freshness that makes all their wines both deeply satisfying and compulsively drinkable.Maxime's fruit comes from a neighboring vineyard that has, like Gramenon's, been farmed biodynamically for ages. The wines may be even more natural than Gramenon's (ambient yeast fermentations, no sulfur except a little shot after malos), but the farming and winemaking are so good that the wines are clean, pure expressions of fruit and climate and soil; they are not at all overly funky. Kermit Lynch doesn’t bring in a lot super-natural wines and the fact that he imports Maxime’s tells you a lot.Drinking these isn’t really like drinking Rayas, although they both make refined Grenache in the Southern Rhone. In a way it’s more like drinking a francophile Tribute to Grace: silky but with a sneaky depth. It's a perfect wine for Grenache lovers, especially Grenache lovers who want to convert their friends.