Paziols feels like a place frozen in time. Tucked away in the Pyrenees Mountains this village used to belong to the Principality of Catalonia and in many ways genuinely still boasts an almost medieval feel. Here the past still holds sway; standing in its age-old streets it’s hard not to imagine Templar Knights setting off on a Grail quest. It’s among these buildings and cobblestone streets of a bygone era you’ll find the visionary vigneron Sébastien Agelet and his passion project De Mena
Paziols is small, so small that the first person two clearly lost Americans ran into was the Aunt of the exact person they were looking for. Though lucky, I feel anyone in the village could have led us to Sébastien. Although the area is surrounded by vines there are actually very few wineries in the town. Most growers in the area tend to sell their wines to the co-op, something Sébastien and his family had historically done as well. Not too long ago though something changed, Sébastien began to feel there was a better way, in essence a more natural and organic way. He began to farm his family’s old vine vineyards organically and pull more and more fruit away from the co-op and devote it to his own winemaking techniques, and thus De Mena (Catalan for “By Nature”) was born.
We have tasted a lot of “Natural Wines” good, bad, and everywhere in between, and we can honestly say only a handful have had a visceral effect, and De Mena is certainly one. De Mena is about a purpose and a passion. So many times, the “Natural Wine” movement, of which we are firm believers, can get caught up in hype and marketing. De Mena has great labels, no denying that, but as anyone who has had the wines can attest these are more than legit, they are purposeful, thought provoking, important, and maybe most significant utterly delicious!