Appellation: Vin de France
Cuvée: Fleur de Carotte
Colour: Red
Grapes: Grenache Noir 100%
About: the Cuvée name reflects Philippe’s love of literature that references agricultural life. The phrase comes from a novel by the great French writer Jean Giono “Que Ma Joie Demeure”. A peasant farmer is ploughing one night and marvels at the star formation Orion which he compares to the flower of a carrot. Harvested later than the rest, this comes from the only vines planted east-west (for whatever reason, lost in the mists of time).

Vines

Location: just west of Tulette.
Size: from less than 1 hectare.
Age: vines planted in 1945.
Soils: well draining stony soils with more clay.
Exposition: basically flat.
Altitude: 100 to 150m.
Training: although everything was planted in gobelet, much was re-trained to cordon de royat on wire in the 1980’s for the “convenience” of the worker, rather than the health of vine and fruit.
Farming: organic, as above.
Average yield hl/ha: 30.

Winemaking

The fruit, whole bunches, was foot-trodden in the cases into which they were picked, and manually put into fibreglass tank to ferment, using natural yeasts and no other entrants, except a tiny dose of sulfites after the malo and before bottling. No temperature control, but ambient 31 to 32ºC. Seven delestages (rack and return, all the wine is drained off the marc, the skins, then put back in, thus thoroughly aerating the wine and soaking the skins) were carried out during a total cuvaison or time on skins of 28 days.
After pressing the wine was put back in tank to age for six months. It was bottled under cork without fining or filtration.

Vintage notes 2016

Yield hl/ha: 20 hl/ha
Harvested: October 2 without any sur-maturité or over-ripeness.
Bottles produced: 1,800.
Date bottled: 2017-07.
Alcohol: 15.5 %
SO2 Total: 25
Tasting: a gorgeously broad, rich and complex wine with great finesse, showing more garrigue and mineral than the others in the range, the rich tannic structure offset by a cool freshness, a vertical wine that feels like it thrusts out of the soil. It’s savoury and a little sweet, full of iron and cassis fruit, bone dry but plump. A killer example of the splendours of the Southern Rhône.

Vintage notes 2017
Hot, dry and sunny year punctured by coulure, and hail, leading to a low yield and super-concentrated wines. Some crazy numbers, with 15mg sulfites added, despite high pH and alcohol, which didn’t show up in the final analysis.
Yield hl/ha: 15 hl/ha
Harvested: Sept 25
Bottles produced: 1,600
Date bottled: 2018-07.
Alcohol: 15.72 %
SO2 Total: 0
Tasting: 2019-07-31 licorice, honey, salty, dark coffee, fruit, wall of fruit, firm tannins. 2020-06 fine, salty, rich, sweet red berry fruit, fine grained tannins, garrigue, almond flower, gorgeous.

Vintage notes 2018
The harvest took place from September 8 to 25. Problems with mildew that have blighted the 2018 harvest in the Southern Rhône meant lots of selection in the vines. Since the harvest crew is totally made up of family and friends who are both used to the vines and not in a hurry, they went very slowly to pick only perfectly healthy fruit. The quality we tasted from tank on October 2 was super.
Yield hl/ha: 20 hl/ha
Harvested: October 2 without any sur-maturité or over-ripeness.
Bottles produced: 1,100.
Date bottled: 2019-07.
Alcohol: 16.24 %
SO2 Total: 16
Tasting: 2019-07-31 big structure, just bottled, to re-taste, earthy black fruit, honey, demerera, flatteur, tons of berry fruit, stone fruit.

Vintage notes 2019
Not made. Wine was blended into Zinzin and Libre. Because of difficulties with stuck fermentations due to blocked maturities due to heatwaves coming on the back of the year when Philippe let all the grasses grow free and didn’t plough. Tasted pretty good to us, nonetheless, in January after the harvest.