Mataburro – Laurent Roger and Melissa Ingrand

Mataburro is the name of small domaine established in Roussillon by rising stars Laurent Roger and Melissa Ingrand. Their wines are natural and very delicious!

They have kindly agreed to supply us with some of their much sought after wines and they will arrive in Australia around the middle of the year.

Laurent worked for several years at the venerable Paris bar à vin Le Verre Volé and after that returned to Roussillon to work directly with Alain Castex, then of Le Casot des Mailloles.

Towards the end of 2017, armed with what he had learned from Castex, he and Melissa took over the remaining three hectare vineyard from his father and are returning it to its organic past.

In 2019 they started biodynamics and they are using cover crops to improve the soil quality. The crops were cut in 2019 but perhaps in future they will simply roll them, preferring to limit the amount of tilling.

Alain Castex taught Laurent the importance of the soil. He also had this concept reinforced by Tom Lubbe and Axel Prüfer.

We arranged to meet Laurent and Melissa when we went back to France after last year’s harvest. The day we visited the rain was like something from an apocalypse with flooding throughout the region so we did not have leisurely strolls in the vineyard we were imagining. But we did get to taste the wines and begin the always exciting process of unravelling the stories behind them.

The photo below was taken in their cellars. It shows a large stainless steel vat containing the 2019 juice for the Idoine cuvee which we will be receiving this year.

Mataburro -Idoine in steel tank

Mataburro Otium 2020

Otium 2020 is predominantly Grenache, made from the old vines planted by Laurent’s grandfather in 1949, almost 72 years ago. The vines are in the Rivesaltes district. These vines therefore have the ability to produce wines of complexity and charm.

It is so good to see vines of this age being productive and providing grapes for interesting wines such as this. Unfortunately, the undeniable increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is leading to new vines growing more quickly and therefore lacking the cellular structure required for them to last many years. Some recently planted vineyards have been failing after 15 years!

For 2020, Otium also has some Grenache Gris and Macabeu. They picked all the grapes at the same time, the whole bunches were slightly crushed by foot, to release some juice, and had 7 days maceration. The reason for the short maceration is that Laurent and Melissa do not want too much extraction to occur so that the wine is not too tannic.

Laurent describes it as a kind of semi-carbonic maceration. The wine was matured in a large stainless steel tank.

The wine has just arrived in Australia and a few hours later we held a tasting and the wine was perfect. It is light, ethereal and absolutely clean and delicious!

This wine has no additions, 12% alcohol, including no added sulphites, and no filtration or fining.


Mataburro Idoine 2020

Idoine 2020 is 100% Merlot from vines that are 30 – 40 years old which were planted by Laurent’s father.

Vinified initially in two tanks, the whole bunches had five days maceration. As mentioned above for the Otium, this short period of maceration ensures that not too much tannin and other harsh polyphenols are extracted leaving a surprisingly fresh and lively wine, showing that Merlot is capable of presenting many faces if treated properly.

One tank had a little pigeage and the other none to keep the floral aromas from the semi-carbonic maceration.

The two tanks were mixed after pressing and aged in stainless steel tank. This is a very clever way of dealing with Merlot.

It is interesting to see just how good Merlot can be when the wine is made by sympathetic winemakers.

Now that so many consumers are moving to lighter styles of red wine rather than the brutish wines of twenty years ago, Merlot is finding a niche.

They found the name ‘Idoine’ in a book Laurent’s uncle had written. It means ‘the good stuff’. We agree!

This wine has no additions, including no added sulphites, and no fining or filtration.


Mataburro Mura Mura 2020

Mataburro Laurent Roger Mura Mura 2020

Mura Mura, a name is inspired in part by Melissa’s Madagascan heritage (it means slowly, slowly), but we discovered later they are also aware that the name has a connection to Australia’s dreamtime, being an important part of the stories of the Diyari people who inhabit an area to the East of Lake Eyre.

The 2020 vintage, a rosé, is a blend predominantly of Merlot, with about 5% each Grenache and Muscat à Petit Grains.

The Merlot, Grenache and Muscat à Petit Grains had one night of maceration prior to pressing thus leading to a light coloured rose of particular charm. When we first tasted the 2020 vintage we were delighted with the lightness, freshness and long-lasting flavour exhibited by this wine.

Mura Mura: Delicate colour for Merlot!!

This wine has no additions, including no added sulphites, and no fining or filtration.


Mataburro Quartet 2020

The Quartet is not a wine that we have imported before, being relatively new to Laurent and Melissa’s cuvées. It is created from Merlot, Grenache Noir and Muscat à Petit Grains and is more of a red wine than the others, although still very light and very delicious.

The wine, as we said above, is very light. You may find a slight bubble or two when you first open this wine but these will disappear fairly quickly. We should add here that this is often regarded as a fault in winemaking. This is simply because the wine competitions need things to take off marks for and they chose the presence of tiny amounts of carbon dioxide as one of the ways to do this.

They haven’t caught up with the fact that the world of winemaking has moved on, and many natural winemakers, especially those who add no sulphites at any time, often bottle the wine with a tiny amount of residual sugar remaining. Once the wine is bottled this sugar is converted to carbon dioxide by any remaining yeast in the wine. What these winemakers have achieved is a way of controlling any bacteria in the wine which is far more effective than adding sulphites. So, for us, it can hardly be called a fault if that is what the winemaker is trying to achieve.

It underwent semi-carbonic maceration and then was matured in a steel tank. The fermentation was, of course, carried through with only the natural yeasts on the grapes. The alcohol is 12.5%.

This wine has no additions, including no added sulphites, and no fining or filtration.


Mataburro Totem 2020

Totem is a new cuvée for Laurent and Melissa made entirely from Grenache Noir.

This wine was matured in an amphora to extract more colour and other polyphenols in order to produce a red wine that is slightly darker than their other wines. It is also quite structured, but there is not a hint of harshness with the wine still maintaining the Mataburro signature freshness and lightness.

At our first tasting of this wine we were impressed with the amazing expression of the Grenache Noir grape that this wine represents. their is fruit at the start, followed by complexity and then an amazing finish where the soft tannins shine through. Tasters used words like soft, dusty and tightly controlled to describe the amazing tannic structure exhibited by the wine. The amphora has certainly delivered!

Once again, here is a wine that has benefitted from grapes that have been grown in soil that has been treated with respect through the commencement of biodynamic treatment. As we have said in the introduction above, Laurent and Melissa are now even eschewing tilling and instead simply rolling the grasses and herbs so that they give back to the soil rather than damaging the vital fungal structures through tilling.

This wine has no additions, including no added sulphites, and no fining or filtration.