This month brought an exciting new discovery for our team: the terroir-driven wines of Res Fortes. All of Res Fortes wines are a pure expression of Roussillon’s unique terroir. They are a gateway to explore an ancient and unique region and its undiscovered wines of exceptional quality. 

Roussillon is most frequently contextualized in tandem with its northern neighbor as “Languedoc-Roussillon”, which when so combined, is one of the largest winemaking areas in the world. But the two regions are quite historically  distinct and they were only coupled into the current administrative region in 1982, to streamline management of politics and economics. (In 2016, they joined the Midi-Pyrénées to become a larger region called Occitanie.)  The hyphen hides a significant mismatch: Languedoc, which goes from  the southern border of  Rhône down to the Pyrenees Mountains along the Mediterranean coastline, comprises some 90% of the combined territory; Roussillon is a comparative speck, tucked into the country’s southern corner next to the Spanish border. 

Roussillon can boast some 28 centuries of winemaking history though. The Phoenicians first brought grapes to its shores in 624 BC. Today it is home to 2,200 wine growers with an average holding of 10 hectares. Among these grows, the majority are women-run, a rarity in the wine world. The region is a respectable 9th among French wine regions by production volume, but 1st in percentage of organic and biodynamic vineyards by hectare. Its singularity is the result of climate (it is France’s warmest region, with 316 days of sun, 22 inches of rainfall annually, and seven distinct winds that cool and cleanse the vineyards); topography (it has 60 kilometers of coastline, featuring long white sandy beaches and steep hillsides, all backdropped by the snow-capped Pyrenees and the Corbieres Mountains); and cultural history - its proximity to Spain means everything from the street signs, to the accents, to the cuisine bear clear Catalonian influences.  

Inspired by childhood summers with his wine-loving grandfather in the South of France, Moritz Bak’s fascination with the world of wine began at an early age.  When he was finally able able to start his own winery, he chose the Roussillon region, knowing the potential for quality residing in the Pyrenees foothills where he purchased a 14 hectare organic vineyard and winery in September 2018.  Prior to that,  Moritz had devoted himself to learning the craft of winemaking,  working at some of the world’s greatest vineyards, including  Kendall Jackson, Dr Loosen, Orin Swift, Delagat’s Barossa Valley Estates, Oyster Bay, and Penfolds. This passionate mountaineer’s winery, Res Fortes, is named in tribute to his own love for a hard climb and the fortitude of those like him who have followed in the footsteps of the ancient Romans who scaled and civilized this highland corner of southern France. The label has  garnered a worldwide following, receiving  critical acclaim from Decanter, IWSC, Wine Enthusiast, and other reputable publications, and won Silver and Gold medals at the Global Rosé Masters as well as San Francisco International Wine Festival.

We hope that you enjoy our discovery as much as we did this month. Both wines are incredibly versatile food wines that would go well with a range of dishes on your holiday menus. We hope the wines make your season bright as you enjoy the holidays with your loved ones. 


Santé et Joyeuses Fêtes! 

The PlumpJack Wine Buying Team

Res Fortes Red 2018 Côtes Catalanes

Region / Country of Origin:  Côtes du Roussillon, France

About the winery:  The Res Fortes winery in the Roussillon, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, has well-established vines, some of which have been growing for over 100 years. The combination of these vines, the mineral-rich schist terrain, and a perfect grape growing climate means that exceptional fruit is produced consistently every year. In addition to the wines themselves, Res Fortes’ elegant bottles and label design prove that the most modern and sophisticated drinking experience can grow from the toughest terrain.

About the winemaking: The grapes were de-stemmed and fermented in stainless steel tanks. During fermentation the wine had two pump overs per day for 10 days, then left on skins for a further 10 days after fermentation before being drained and pressed into tank. 30% of the Grenache Noir was left to age for 12 months and go through MLF in puncheon barrels. 

Tasting Notes: Intense ripe red fruit, plum, and black cherry along with a touch of cinnamon, vanilla, and spice from time spent maturing in old French oak. Rich and structured with supple tannins and beautiful balance. 

Winemaker: Moritz Bak

$25 bottle/ $270 case

Suggested Food Pairing:

Lamb meatballs,

BBQ pulled pork, 

ribeye with peppercorn sauce. 

Res Fortes White 2018 Côtes du Roussillon

Region / Country of Origin: Côtes du Roussillon, France

About the winemaking: 60% Macabeu, 20% Grenache Blanc, 20% Grenache Gris.

The grapes were whole bunch pressed, then cold settled in stainless steel tanks for 24 hours. After cold settling the winemakers racked off the juice from the lees and prepared it for fermentation. After fermentation the wine was racked again from the lees created through fermentation and let to rest until blending and bottling. No oak was used.

Tasting Notes: Generously floral on the nose along with baked apple, sweet lemon, white peach, and a slight earthiness makes this a more complex wine than many at this price point. The palate is dry, richer than expected with medium body, moderate yet refreshing acidity, and a waxy mouthfeel reminiscent of Vouvray. The nose is quite complex and lifted, and the finish is long and persistent. The 60-year-old vines contribute real character. This is easy drinking, fresh, and vibrant. 

Winemaker: Moritz Bak

$24 bottle / $259 case

Suggested Food Pairings:


pasta vongole, 

baked seafood,

roast chicken dishes. 

More stories

Italian Wine Club December 2022: Italy's Green Heart

UMBRIA In 1906, the poet Giosuè Carducci became first Italian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, largely on the strength of 56 poems he compose...

Q4 2022 Scotch Club

There are few spirits that warm one up on a cold winter’s night better than Scotch Whisky. For our final club selection of the year, we are featuri...