Grapes: Grenache Noir 60 to 70% depending on the vintage, Mourvèdre around 10%, Syrah around 10% and all the others notably Cinsault, Counoise, and Vaccarèse.
About: the way Châteauneuf-du-Pape used to be. As traditionally made as it gets, and all the more elegant for it. The key elements are a blend of terroirs, whole bunch fermentation and long ageing in old foudres. The structural finesse will allow it to age up to 30 years in some vintages, while also giving immediate pleasure in lighter vintages.
Location: 25 parcels across 18 hectares all over the Appellation.
Size ha: 18.
Age: vines planted between 1905 to 1970.
Soils: on sand near Rayas for finesse, on galets roulés with clay subsoils in La Crau for power, and on stony gravels near la Gardine, for power and aroma.
Farming: farmed organically, by hand as well as by machine.
Average yield hl/ha: 35.
Climate: Mediterranean with northerly Mistral wind.
The harvest is co-fermented in concrete tank, using natural yeasts, by whole bunch and by infusion rather than extraction for around six weeks. After pressing, which used to take place in an old basket press until a pneumatic press was bought in 2013, the wine is moved to age for 22 months in old foudres – 50 year old re-conditioned beer barrels, around 50hl, from Alsace. There’s minimal use of sulfites and no other entrants or manipulation. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Vintage Notes 2015
Yield hl/ha: .
Bottles produced: 40,000.
Date bottled: 2017-10.
Alcohol %: 14.3.
SO2 Total: 81.
Tasting: a classic style, great balance, drinking beautifully young, will age 25 years.
Vintage Notes 2016
Yield hl/ha: .
Bottles produced: 35,000.
Date bottled: 2018-10.
Alcohol %: 15.96.
SO2 Total: 68.
Tasting: was overly exuberant when very young but with a year in bottle is becoming spectacular anchored by a floral, mineral freshness. All the classic aromas of Châteauneuf are here, the sweet and sour cherry, cassis, strawberry, lavender, garrigue, black pepper, black olive. Very long. Might age over 30 years.
Vintage Notes 2017
Very dry, warm and sunny conditions, but never too hot, resulted in a ripe but very small crop. So the wines are perfumed, relatively low in alcohol but tannic.
Date harvested: Sept 10 to Oct 1
Yield hl/ha: 20
Date bottled: 2019-10
Bottles produced: 32,000
Alcohol %: 14.2
SO2 Total: 65
Tasting: lovely nose of fresh red berry fruits and dried fruits and rose petals, black olives, garrigue and white pepper, touches of apricot, lavender, almond, anis, perfumed, lifted. The palate starts silky then gains in tannic mass as it unfolds with intense fruit and plenty of vegetal freshness. Sublime.