SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9th, 1-4pm $10 for six winesLocated in Banyuls, just before crossing the Spanish border, Casot de Mailloles has always stood out for the unapologetic embrace of its warm Mediterranean climate. While the wines exude the freshness and drinkability we all love, they also plunge into the deeper, more exotic territory of garrigue, pepper, fig and olive. They are some of my favorite wines: big reds that are fresh enough to drink before dinner, and whites that paradoxically pair with roasted lamb. They have an energy that transcends traditional pairings. Founded and cared for by Alain Castex, a card-carrying Communist and man of the vines—his tawny neck bears an uncanny resemblance to a centenarian Grenache Gris trunk—the domaine is now under the new direction of Jordi Perez. Jordi worked alongside Alain for two vintages before taking over completely in 2016. Jordi has done an astounding job carrying on Alain’s legacy. Cavistes around the world let out a sigh of relief when they tasted his handiwork. In addition to preserving Alain’s well-known vineyard-specific bottlings (Soula, El Niño, Visinum), he has also found new vineyards to work with, which will be the primary focus of this tasting. THE REAL NATTY CONNOR WILL POUR>>> Rosé de Zaza 2015 $31 Stop overpaying for heavily filtered Provençal rosé. This is the real deal. Obreptice 2016 $31 100% Vermentino from vines just outside the Banyuls appellation. Aromatic, tropical, and zingy. Blanc du Casot 2015 $57 One of Alain’s cuvées, this is a blend of Macabeu, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Vermentino. It is regal and wild, like a mad king, combining dense fruit with oyster shell salinity. Comax Ethlyx 2016 $27 A new wine from Jordi, this is all Syrah. It’s got spice, verve, and brambly blue fruits. Roc Blanc 2016 $32 Another 100% Syrah cuvée from Jordi, it is a warm, dark, olive-y wine that you should chill down and serve with stuffed squid covered in squid ink and cinnamon. Just an idea. Clos de Taillelauque 2016 $57 Alain stopped making this wine a while back, but Jordi decided to revive it as a single-vineyard bottling. A field blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, Counoise, Carignan, etc. Special stuff.