Appellation: Côtes du Rhône.
Grapes: Grenache 80%, Syrah 15%, Carignan 5%.
About: as far from generic Côtes du Rhône as you could imagine, this is made from old Grenache Noir lying just outside the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Appellation. The vines are looked after with the same attention as the Châteauneuf and the wine made the same way. It’s complex, well structured and fabulously drinkable. It will also age 10 to 15 years.
Location: around the Domaine in the north of the Appellation adjacent to Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Size ha: 13.
Age: vines planted between 1940 and 1970.
Soils: mainly galets roulés on a limestone-marl base and some sandy soils.
Exposition: mostly north facing.
Altitude: 50 to 80m.
Farming: organic with obsessive attention to adapting to changing circumstance, retaining humidity in a dry year, or aerating the vines in a humid year.
Average yield hl/ha: 35.
Made in concrete tank, using whole bunches, wild yeasts, no additions except very minimal sulphur, the varieties co-fermented, during about 3 weeks, with temperatures controlled to no more than 33ºC and with a very gentle extraction. The wine is matured 18 months in concrete tank. The wine is bottled unfiltered and unfined.
Vintage Notes 2016
Yield hl/ha: 30.
Bottles produced: 50,000.
Date bottled: 2018-05.
Alcohol %: 14.81.
SO2 Total: 55.
Tasting: classic old fashioned Southern Rhône aromas of smokey Garrigue, toast, leather, black cherry, strawberry and black pepper. There’s a unique cool, mineral savoury character on the palate that lends balance to the honeyed richness of the fruit, and the tannins, too, are very fine.
Vintage Notes 2018
A personal favourite of a vintage owing to its unrestrained drinkability and finesse. Mildew was a problem in 2018 in Châteauneuf-du-Pape yet Laurent Charvin dealt with the problem by upping the treatments with the results as if mildew didn’t exist except that the wines have an unparallelled juiciness to them, both acidity and tannin, surprising richness and amazing aromatic finesse.
Yield hl/ha: 28.
Harvested: September 11 to October 2.
Bottles produced: 35,000.
Date bottled: 2020-02.
Alcohol %: 14.26.
SO2 Total: 70.
Tasting: an aromatic beauty displaying very open floral red berry and cherry fruit, bone dry, juicy, with very fine tannins, cool and savoury.