Showing posts with label white-blend. Show all posts
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  • Thursday, September 5, 2019

Rhône Wine Tour 2018 - Costières de Nîmes (Day 3)



Costières de Nîmes - Château Mourgues du Grès Vineyard
After visits to Luberon and Ventoux, and Cairanne earlier in the week, our focused on the Costières de Nîmes appellation. This region is the southern-most wine-growing region of the Rhône Valley and exhibits a rich history and culture dating back to Greek and Roman times. In the year 280 A.D., the area was replanted with vines after the decree banning viticulture was revoked and is considered to be one of the first winegrowing regions in France. Winegrowing was further encouraged in the 17th century, and became even more important when the Canal du Midi was linked with the Rhône River in the 19th century.

The appellation was known as Costières du Gard when it was granted AOC status in 1986, and only had its name changed to Costières de Nîmes in 1989. In 2004, Costières de Nîmes was moved from Languedoc to the Rhône wine region because the wines were more reflective of the typical characteristics of Rhône than of the Languedoc. Today, Costières de Nîmes produces 8% of the wines from Rhône, of which 35% are rosé and 5% white wines. Like other Rhône AOCs, blending of at least two grape varieties is required. For rosé wines, Syrah is usually combined with either Grenache and/or Mourvedre, and sometimes Carignan and Cinsault. White wines are usually composed of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, and Marsanne, and sometimes Viognier, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Macabeu, and Vermentino (Rolle).

Château de Nages The day began with a visit to Château de Nages, where Tina Gassier, wife of renowned winemaker Michel Gassier, took us through some of their impressive current offerings of white and rosé wines from both Domaine Gassier and Château de Nages labels, and ranged in vintage from 2014 to 2017. They have vineyards in the northern part of the appellation featuring "galets" (i.e. pebbles) that sit atop iron-rich red clay, while some of this area is covered by a thin blanket of loess (wind-blown silt) that is very suitable for white varietals and Syrah. Their Bek Vineyard to the south, which was acquired fairly recently, has a base of chalk and “safres” layers that sit below a layer of red sandstone (iron-rich clay and sand) and is topped by “cailloutis” (pebbles from the ancient Durance River) on the higher elevations. The terroir of the Bek Vineyards changes as you move to lower elevations, with chalk and “safres” layers closer to the surface and topped with a layer of sandy-clay loam, offering freshness and salinity to the wines due to the vineyard being located at a fault line. At the lowest point of the Bek Vineyard, the alluvium soil that sits on top of the chalk and “safres” layer is rich in nutrients and limestone and offers minerality and freshness - white wine varietals are planted here. Unfortunately, due to the rainy weather, we were not able to see the vineyards, but I can imagine it would have been quite the sight.

The vineyards at Château de Nages have been passed along 4 generations, and the story begins when Joseph Torres purchased the southern Rhône estate during World War II. After the passing of Mr. Torres, his son-in-law, Alfred Gassier, begins managing the property all the while residing in Algeria with his wife. He helps his sons re-construct their lives in France, with the eldest son, Jean Gassier taking the reins and restoring farm while the second son, Roger Gassier, restored the Château and the property. Michel is the great grandson of Joseph and was asked to take over the property in 1993 when his father retired.

Today, Château de Nages has 112 hectares of vineyards. 32% of their production is devoted to rosé wines, while is 16% to white wines, making them one of the larger producers of white wines in Costières de Nîmes. Vineyards are organically farmed, and there is a commitment to protecting the ecosystem and using resources wisely. All of the wines among the half dozen we tasted were delicious, and some were downright excellent. Fortunately for us, these wines do show up in our market from time to time. However, I think I will have to make another trip out to Château de Nages to take a stroll through the vineyards.

Mas Carlot Vineyard

The second stop of the day was meeting Cyril Marès at Mas Carlot - Château Paul Blanc. Upon arriving at the winery, I thought to myself that the buildings looked rather historic. In fact, I learned that the buildings were from the 17th century, remodelled in the 19th century by the Grasset family, and fully restored by Paul Blanc a century later. Roman remains dating back to more than 2000 years old have also been found around the Mas. The visit began with a tour of the vineyards in Cyril's SUV - since it was raining on and off, and we would be able to see more of the 75 hectare property that was littered with round pebbles coloured by the red clay of the Costières, known locally as "Grès".

Cyril Marès, Mas Carlot - Château Paul Blanc After returning to the winery and getting a quick look at the tank and barrel rooms, we began tasting the wines with Cyril. Mas Carlot - Château Paul Blanc is actually the winery of Cyril's wife, Nathalie Blanc-Marès. She is an oenologist and the winemaker at Mas Carlot, and has been running the estate since 1998, following in the footsteps of her father, Paul Blanc. We didn't actually get to meet Nathalie, but Cyril tells us that she prefers to craft her wines in an elegant and fresh style, allowing the wines to express the Domaine's terroir fully. We tasted through the portfolio of whites and rosé wines (5 wines in all) and each wine was delicious and of very good quality. In 2018, Cyril Marès took over complete management of the estate and is currently moving towards organic farming.

The Marès family has a long tradition of winemaking going back centuries. Cyril was born in Nîmes and has always lived between the vineyards and orchards of his father Roger Marès. Mas des Bressades neighbours Mas Carlot and was founded by Roger in 1964. After studying agronomy, viticulture and oenology in Montpellier, Cyril went on to vinify on other continents before returning to Mas des Bressades and taking over the reins in 1996 and becoming the latest of 6 generations to make wine. At Mas des Bressades, Cyril and his small team try with passion to produce ripe and fruity wines. Today, the estate is managed by Cyril's cousin, Alix Marès. The fabulous estate terroir is comprised of Siliceous pebbles which originated from the Rhône River Basin dating back to the Quaternary era and is 6 to 15 metres thick. Roussanne is the most widely planted white varietal on the property, leading to Roussanne-dominate white wines, while the single rosé is a Grenache-led blend. After tasting the yummy wines of Mas des Bressades with Cyril at Mas Carlot, we headed out for lunch.

Cyril Marès

Hotel Restaurant Le Cours was the venue for lunch, a family hotel in Saint-Gilles that offers cultural fare in the tradition of the Camargue. It was a short drive away from Mas Carlot and Cyril joined us. I expected lunch to be on the quiet side, however, it got really interesting after Cyril pulled out 10 whites and rosés for tasting. All of the wines were from various producers in Costières de Nîmes and Cyril did his best to provide some information regarding each of the wines, along with tech sheets that came in handy. A couple of wines, one each from Domaine du Vistre and Château d'Or et de Gueules really stood out for me, and wine reviews of each are provided below.

Garlic Shrimp Entrée at Hotel Restaurant Le Cours

As for lunch, the shrimp I ordered was loaded with garlic and really delicious, but made it a bit difficult for tasting the wines and, of course, it was a little messy. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it and would highly recommend this entrée.

Château Mourgues du Grès
We visited the family-owned and -operated Château Mourgues du Grès for the only winery stop of the afternoon - and it was quite the visit! The site is located in Beaucaire on a slope in Costières de Nîmes and is a former 16th century agricultural estate of the Ursulines de Beaucaire. It takes its name from the nuns called "Mourgues" in the Provençal language, and the "Grès" which are the rounded stones found across Costières de Nîmes and give character to the wines from this region. The "grès" were transported here naturally via the River Rhône during the Ice Age. Since the weather had cleared up around here and the ground was fairly dry, owner and vigneron François Collard and his wife Anne gave us a tour of the property, which involved driving up the hill.

François and Anne Collard, Château Mourgues du Grès
The first stop along the way was an ancient Roman archaeological site that was recently discovered while planting a new vineyard. We then drove up to a plateau that featured vineyards with plenty of "grès" on the ground and were also told about Mistral (winds) that plays an important role in winegrowing. The mistral from the north is dry, while the south wind brings moisture from the sea. Together, these winds accentuate the diurnal temperature and brings freshness to the wines. We went further up the hill and got a lovely view of the vineyards below, the town of Beaucaire, and the eastern plateau facing the River Rhône. After the brief tour of the property, we headed back to the tasting room to learn more and taste their portfolio of white and rosé wines.

Of their entire production, 20% is devoted to white wines, which is fairly high among Rhône producers. Château Mourgues du Grès is a certified organic winery, being mindful and respectful of nature and the environment. Since 2015, they have not used sulphur during winemaking (a slight addition of sulphur is added at bottling to ensure stability of the wine). All six wines we tasted were delicious - 3 whites and 3 rosés - ranging in style from fresh and fruity to something more serious for gastronomie. Most of the wines also had a fine mineral element. All in all, I was very satisfied with my visit to Château Mourgues du Grès.

Château Mourgues du Grès

This concludes a fascinating day in Costières de Nîmes, an area rich in winemaking history that goes back more than two-thousand years. The fresh white wines showed fine mineral character thanks to the terroir, while the rosés wines were deliciously fresh and fruity. From here, we moved to Lirac and Tavel the following day as we toured through the southern Rhône Valley.

Tasting Notes:

Michel Gassier Lou Coucardié Blanc 2014 (90+ pts)

MICHEL GASSIER LOU COUCARDIÉ BLANC 2014 - AP Costières de Nîmes, Rhône, France (XD) - $35
Bek vineyard. Blend of 50% Roussanne, 30% Grenache Blanc, and 20% Viognier grown on galets and sandy limestone soils over beds of safres and chalk. Barrel-fermented and aged on the lees for 9 months. Medium+ intensity nose of lanolin, yellow floral, anise, and herbs. The palate is medium-to-full bodied with a nice mouthfeel and lovely aroma replays that are balanced with fresh acids. Chalky mineral notes appear mid-palate and continue through to the long finish. Score: 90+ pts

Agent: Halpern Enterprises (ON), Le Maitre de Chai (QC)

Château de Nages Vieilles Vignes Rosé 2017 (90 pts)

CHÂTEAU DE NAGES VIEILLES VIGNES ROSÉ 2017 - AP Costières de Nîmes, Rhône, France (#496919) (XD) - $20
A blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre, the nose is subtle but offers rich cherry and strawberry aromas, while the medium-full bodied palate has nice aroma replays supported by balanced, juicy acids. There's some structure to this dry rosé that has a nice, rich texture. Finish length is very good. A serious, gastronomie rosé. Score: 90 pts

Agent: Profile Wine Group (ON), LCC Vins et Spiritueux (QC)

Mas Carlot La Terre Natale 2016 (90 pts)

MAS CARLOT LA TERRE NATALE 2016 - AP Clairette de Bellegarde, Rhône, France (XD) - 10 €
Neighbouring Costières de Nîmes, this Clairette de Bellegarde appellation wine is 100% Clairette and mostly raised in concrete tanks (20% in oak). This elegant white wine has a medium+ intensity nose that is herbally with lemon oil, citrus, and stone fruits. It is medium+ bodied on the palate with fine minerally and balanced aroma replays and some fennel notes. Nicely textured with succulent acids and long finishing. Score: 90 pts

Agent: Nicholas Pearce Wines (ON)

Mas des Bressades Cuvée Excellence Blanc 2017 (89 pts)

MAS DES BRESSADES CUVÉE EXCELLENCE BLANC 2017 - AP Costières de Nîmes, Rhône, France (XD) - 12 €
70/30 Roussanne and Viognier that was barrel-fermented and aged oak for 5 months. Medium-high, wood-inflected nose of baked pear, white peach, subtle vanilla, and floral aromas. It is medium-full bodied, rounded, and richly structured with oak nicely integrated on the palate. Nice aroma replays and somewhat chalky textured. Balanced acids. Shows impressive complexity and very good finish length. Score: 89 pts

Agent: Vinexx (ON)

Domaine du Vistre Cuvée Gladiateur Rosé 2017 (88+ pts)

DOMAINE DU VISTRE CUVÉE GLADIATEUR ROSÉ 2017 - AP Costières de Nîmes, Rhône, France (XD) - 8 €
Blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah from hillside vineyards featuring sandstone and pebbles from the Rhône river, this has a medium-high intensity nose that is clean and fresh with currant, strawberry, mineral, and herbal aromas. Medium-bodied on the very clean palate with fresh acids and nicely balanced aroma replays and a long-lasting finish. Score: 88+ pts

Agent: N/A

Château d'Or et de Gueules Trassegum Blanc 2017 (88 pts)

CHÂTEAU D'OR ET DE GUEULES TRASSEGUM BLANC 2017 - AP Costières de Nîmes, Rhône, France (XD) - 14.50 €
Organic and biodynamic blend of 80% Roussanne (barrel-fermented), 10% Grenache Blanc, and 10% Rolle (Vermentino). Barrel ageing evident on the nose, along with clean fresh lemon and herbal scents. It's medium-full bodied, a touch creamy, and nicely textured on the palate with more barrel influenced and pear flavours. Balanced acids. There's some complexity on the long finish. Score: 88 pts

Agent: N/A

Château Mourgues du Grès Fleur d'Eglantine 2017 (88 pts)

CHÂTEAU MOURGUES DU GRÈS FLEUR D'EGLANTINE 2017 - AP Costières de Nîmes, Rhône, France (XD) - 7.5 €  88 pts  wine review

CHÂTEAU MOURGUES DU GRÈS GALETS ROSÉS 2017 - AP Costières de Nîmes, Rhône, France (XD) - 7.5 €
Blend of Syrah, Grenache, and 15% Mourvèdre made in the saignee method. Medium+ intensity and fruity with red berry, candied cherry and strawberry aromas. It is medium+ bodied, fresh, lively and dry with nice, fruity aroma replays and some structure. Minerally on the finish, with very good length. Score: 88 pts

Château Mourgues du Grès Galets Rosés 2017 (88 pts)Château Mourgues du Grès Capitelles Blanc 2015 (89 pts)

CHÂTEAU MOURGUES DU GRÈS CAPITELLES BLANC 2015 - AP Costières de Nîmes, Rhone, France (XD) - 16 €
Blend of old vines Grenache Blanc that grow on chalky soils (rare for this appellation), Roussanne, and Viognier, and is barrel-fermented and aged. Pours deep yellow gold and offers a medium-high intensity and slightly mature nose that is waxy with baked apple, white and yellow flowers. It is medium-full bodied and fleshy on the palate with nice aroma replays. Acids are still quite fresh and juicy. Very good length on the limestone mineral finish. Should drink well for another 5 years. Score: 89 pts

Agent: Brand New Day Wines & Spirits (ON)


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  • Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Les Vignerons du Castelas Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2017 (France) - Wine Review

wine review is a nice white blend from Côtes du Rhône that will arrive in LCBO VINTAGES on .

It is produced by the co-operative winery Les Vignerons du Castelas that was formed in 1956 by a handful of winemakers that wanted to pool their efforts to make the most of the land and terroir found in the Côtes du Rhône appellation. The winery is located on the right bank of the Rhône river, between Pont d'Avignon and Pont du Gard in Rochefort du Gard. The name of the winery comes from a Romanesque chapel of the XI century that is perched atop the village.

Today, the co-operative consists of more than 500 hectares of vines, the majority within the Côtes du Rhône appellation. Terroir consists primarily of sandy marls from the Pliocene period and terraces with round pebbles from the Villafranchiennes period on the plateau of the Signargues appellation.

Les Vignerons du Castelas Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2017 (88 pts)

Tasting Note:

LES VIGNERONS DU CASTELAS CÔTES DU RHÔNE BLANC 2017 - AC, France (#142125) (XD) - $15.95
This blend of 50% Grenache Blanc, 30% Roussanne, and 20% Clairette has a medium intensity and evolving nose of floral, beeswax, peach, citrus, and grapefruit tones infused with tarragon herbs. It is medium+ bodied with 6 to 8 months of lees ageing adding weight and texture to the dry palate. Clean, lively acids are well-balanced. More floral, beeswax, tarragon and lemon citrus notes on the flavour profile that follow through to the finish with hints of mineral and very good length. Score: 88 pts


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  • Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Rhône Wine Tour 2018 - Cairanne (Day 2)

Cairanne, Rhône, France

After a fine day tasting the white and rose wines from Luberon and Ventoux, our focused on Cairanne, the newest Southern Rhône Valley Cru. Cairanne was granted Côtes du Rhône status in 1953 and became a Côtes du Rhône Villages appellation in 1967. In 2008, an application was filed to the INAO to grant Cru status to Cairanne. Denis Alary, a man who I had lunch with later in the day, was a major driving force behind the push to have Cairanne elevated to Cru status. After more than 15 years of hard work, Cairanne was finally granted Cru status in 2016, beginning with the 2015 vintage.

Frédéric Alary, Domaine Oratoire Saint-Martin
It was another early start on Tuesday morning. After about half an hour of driving we arrived at our first winery of the day - Domaine Oratoire Saint-Martin. I was excited to visit this Domaine as I had done some research prior and discovered that they had some quality wines, some of which had previously been available in Ontario and Québec. The vineyards on this land have been cultivated by grape growers for 10 generations over 300 years. Today, this organic and biodynamic winery is owned by two brothers, Frédéric and François Alary.

We met Frédéric, who was unfortunately nursing a broken arm, and got a brief tour of the small production facility. It was interesting to see many different types of fermentation tanks for such a small winery - they definitely like to experiment and try different things to best express their wines and terroir. They have 25 hectares of vineyards, with 20% planted to white wine varietals - a fairly high percentage given that the average per producer is only 5%. After tasting through their wines, I can see why they produce more white wines than the average Cairanne winery. The whites showed elegance, freshness, and richness, with an ability to age well, as we discovered when we tasted the 2008 Haut Coustias Blanc (91 pts). The term "Coustias" translates into "bad earth", but for wine, this is very much a good thing. Domaine Oratoire Saint-Martin stopped producing rosé wines in 2009, as they were too heavy, so we only tasted white wines. and a few other surprise wines including a lovely 2000 Cuvée Séraphine Blanc dessert wine that was made with late harvest & dried grapes.

Domaine Oratoire Saint-Martin cellar

The second stop of the day was a short drive to Domaine Boisson, another small, family-owned and -operated winery. It was founded by current owner Bruno Boisson's great grandfather in the middle of the 19th century from 6-8 hectares of vines. In 1957, Bruno's grandfather, René, expanded the winery to 28 ha, of which 15 ha are in Cairanne. They began producing their own wines under the Domaine Boisson label in 1986. While Bruno and his father Régis Boisson produce wines using their own vision, training, and experience, vinification is supervised by highly-acclaimed oenologist Philippe Cambie. Cairanne appellation rules specify that white wines must contain at least 2 of Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Marsanne, Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Viognier, and rosés must be a blend of a minimum 50% Grenache Noir and at least 20% Syrah and/or Mourvèdre. This suits Domaine Boisson perfectly as their Cairanne vineyards have various types of soils and exposures, allowing them to create a variety of blends.

Bruno Boisson, Domaine BoissonDomaine Boisson

Domaine Boisson has 3 main types of terroir on their properties: Les Sablières - a covering of clay and sand of varying thicknesses dating from the Miocene period, supported by a subsoil of grey sand; Les Garrigues - scrublands with shallow soil of ancient flat terraces from the Quaternary period; Les Côteaux - beds of stony soil of varying thicknesses, alternating with layers of calcareous clay coloured light yellow, grey and white, and mostly south-facing. Since the weather was nice, Bruno was kind enough to take us to one of his hilltop vineyards, as well as a castle where we got a lovely view of Cairanne and the Rhône Valley. All of the wines are fermented using natural yeasts and the winery is in the process of converting to certified organic. Of their total production, 12% is white wine and 6% rosé, and we tasted everything available - 3 whites and 1 rosé.

Lunch was a short drive away at Côteaux et Fourchettes, a nicely appointed restaurant situated on the country side in Cairanne. It was a fine, hot and sunny day, so we sat outside on the patio and were joined by winemaker Caroline Moro and the one and only Denis Alary.

Denis Alary, Domaine Alary
The Alary family's involvement in viticulture and wine production dates back to 1692, during the reign of Louis XIV. Amazingly, the first agricultural land-register of Cairanne dates back to 1414, when there were 100 parcels of vineyards. Tradition and passion are key elements to tendering and maturing wines within the Alary family, with experience being passed on from one generation to the next - now spanning 10 generations. Over the years, they have learned to understand their terroir in Cairanne. Most of the vines at Domaine Alary are south-facing, with terroir consisting of white and blue clay soils on the slopes, 'Garrigues' on the lower terraces, cobbles covering underlying white and red clay on the high plateau, along with the richer soils close to the Plan de Dieu. They have been making white wines for over 150 years and currently have a total of 5 ha planted to five varietals that are always vinified separately before blending. Today, Denis Alary represents the 10th generation of the Alary family and personally manages all aspects of the Domaine with the assistance of two employees.

Mr. Alary is also an idealist who dreams of improving things and people, and is the reason why he pushed himself to accept the management position of the Cairanne Trade Union more than 20 years ago. He was a very important piece in the pursuit of Cairanne achieving Cru status and is always looking to improve. As leader of the Trade Union, he searches until he finds consensus. Thus, the rules governing Cairanne appellation white wines which specified that Clairette, Grenache Blanc, and Roussanne must make up at least 70% of the final blend will be grandfathered in until 2023 to allow grape growers the time to establish the necessary yields. Over the course of lunch, I also learned that only 5% of all wine production in Cairanne is currently devoted to white wines, but Mr. Alary expects it to increase to 10% within the next five years. Listening to Mr. Alary speak, I sensed that he is a determined man that is also patient and considerate of others. As we tasted only a few delicious wines from the Alary portfolio, a visit to the Domaine in the future would surely be a special treat.

Lunch at Côteaux et FourchettesCaroline Moro, Les Grandes Serres

Caroline Moro is the winemaker at Les Grandes Serres, a negociant firm that was founded in the Southern Rhône Valley in 1977 by Michel Picard who is an owner that is also associated with producing wine in Burgundy. The winery is based in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but they also have vineyards in Gigondas and Cairanne. Additionally, they have formed strong ties and partnerships with key players in each appellation, including a Cairanne winery and numerous wine domains in order to secure the best possible grapes.

Laure (left) and Corinne, Domaine Rabasse Charavin
After lunch, we visited Domaine Rabasse Charavin, another family-owned and -operated winery that has been passed on from generation to generation. The history begins in 1890, when Edmond Rabasse, the great grandfather of current owner Corinne Couturier, purchased a cottage and the 3 ha of land surrounding it. Around 1925, his son Marcel Rabasse took over the land and added 5 ha of vineyards and olive groves. In 1950, Jeanine Rabasse (Corinne's mother) married Abel Charavin, and together they gave this small estate a new focus on winemaking. Corinne took over the reins in 1984, and was joined by her daughter Laure in 1993. Together, they form a unique mother-daughter winemaking team that tends to 40 ha of vines, all of which are handpicked. Domaine Rabasse Charavin practices organic & sustainable winemaking, and all of the wines are vegan-friendly. 5% of their production is devoted to white wines, most of which come from Cairanne. I wasn't too familiar with the Bourboulenc varietal, but I found it interesting to learn here that this grape is more oval-shaped (instead of round), tends to spread out when it grows, and also lowers the alcohol in wine blends due to the grape's low sugar content. We didn't visit the vineyards here, but after tasting through the wines with Laure and Corinne, we stepped out onto the veranda for a lovely view of the Cairanne landscape.

Domaine Rabasse Charavin

Laurent Brusset, Domaine Brusset
The last winery visit of the day was Domaine Brusset, a family estate that was established in 1947 by the late André Brusset. Prior to founding Domaine Brusset, André had grown grapes since 1929 and was a founding member of the cooperative of Cairanne. Together with his son Daniel, and his grandson Laurent, they formed three generations of winegrowers and winemakers. The three generations combine traditional winemaking with new techniques that were introduced by each generation of winemaker. Today, the Domaine Brusset estate covers 70 ha of vines across 5 appellations, nearly 40% of which are in Cairanne. Not surprisingly, their headquarters and main production facility is also in Cairanne in the heart of the southern Côtes du Rhône valley vineyards. Less than 10% of their production is devoted to white and rosé wines. We tasted the single rosé, which represented 2% of their entire production, and both whites that were available for tasting with Laurent.

Domaine Brusset

We travelled about 1 hour to Nîmes and checked-in to Appart'City Nîmes Arènes - Appart Hôtel - a fine, modern hotel located across the vibrant Esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle and steps from the imposing Arènes de Nîmes (Roman amphitheatre). After freshening up, we were picked up by Henri-Claude Amadieu and headed out for dinner at Bistr'AU - a casual (yet, quite fine) dining spot that was located just outside the city centre.

Henri-Claude Amadieu, Pierre Amadieu
Henri-Claude is the Head of Sales at the family-owned and -operated Pierre Amadieu, a winery based in Gigondas. He is also the cousin of Pierre Amadieu and one of a number of relatives that are involved in this family winemaking business. Pierre is the grandchild of Pierre Sr. and is the head of the company. He is also a winemaker and joined by his winemaker cousin Jean-Marie, uncle Claude who runs the vineyard, and Henri-Claude's sister (Marie) who is in charge of private customers and the cellar door.

The history of this important estate began with Pierre's grandfather, the original Pierre Amadieu, as a wine grower of 7 ha of vineyards in Gigondas in 1929. They pursue the long-established family tradition of respect for the soil, landscape, and vines in order to produce wines that reflect their unique terroir. Pierre Sr. was a pioneer in the region. In 1945, he built an underground cellar two levels deep to ensure constant temperature and hygrometry, and ten years later, he purchased an old railway tunnel near Pierrelongue (Drôme) that allowed for exceptional ageing. Henri-Claude informed us that the underground cellar is now closed, but suggested that if we were to visit the winery, we might be able to get a look at the impressive cellar. In the 1950's and 60's, Pierre Sr. also practised sustainable farming with up to 1200 sheep that provided natural manure for soil fertilization and also manage cover crops. Today, Pierre seeks to improve the wines with each vintage, looking for elegance and freshness, while also working the vineyards as naturally as possible. While Pierre Amadieu is mostly known for their estate-owned wines from Gigondas, they also work with growers throughout Southern Rhône and produce fine wines from Cairanne, Ventoux, and Tavel, some of which we got to taste at this dinner. Henri-Claude brought many wines to taste, including some exciting back vintage wines that were tasting great! Wine reviews of a couple of my favourite white wines are provided below.

Lobster Chowder at Bistr'AU

After dinner, Henri-Claude was kind enough to give us a quick driving tour through the city centre of Nîmes. I was pleasantly surprised by the many historical structures found in Nîmes and I can definitely foresee myself visiting the city and spending some time here again, perhaps as a stepping stone to visiting Pierre Amadieu, an hour's drive northeast from here.

After two days of tasting white and rosé wines from Luberon, Ventoux, and Cairanne, I was very impressed with the the appellation wines. The rosé wines from Cairanne producers were pleasing, however, they were not labelled as Cairanne because they did not conform to appellation rules for rosé wines, thus, they were labelled as generic Côtes du Rhône bottles. My view of traditional whites from Southern Rhône prior to this trip consisted of blends made with Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier. However, this view was being completely shattered as Clairette and Grenache Blanc were playing very significant roles in the final blends. The quality is good, and the prices are quite affordable. I was very much looking forward to tasting the wines of Costières de Nîmes on day three.

Tasting Notes:

DOMAINE ORATOIRE SAINT-MARTIN RESERVE DE SEIGNEURS CAIRANNE BLANC 2017 - AOP, Rhône, France (XD) - 13.50 €
40% Clairette, 30% Roussanne, and 30% Grenache Blanc. Elegant, medium intensity nose is clean with lemon citrus, herbs, fennel, and grassy aromas. It is medium bodied and creamy with nice, clean aroma replays plus a fine mineral note. Clean, balanced acids and a touch warm on the long finish. Score: 89 pts

Domaine Oratoire Saint-Martin Reserve de Seigneurs Cairanne Blanc 2017 (89 pts)Domaine Oratoire Saint-Martin Haut Coustias Cairanne Blanc 2016 (90 pts)

DOMAINE ORATOIRE SAINT-MARTIN HAUT COUSTIAS CAIRANNE BLANC 2016 - AOP, Rhône, France (XD) - 19 €
From 70-90 year old vines, blend of 40% Clairette, 20% Marsanne, 20% Roussanne, and 20% Grenache Blanc. The clairette and Grenache Blanc were fermented in concrete egg, while the Marsanne and Roussane were barrel fermented. Made in a oxidative style, this has a medium-high intensity nose that's herbally and grassy, with subtle wood influence. The medium+ bodied palate is a little creamy and has a slightly leesy character, with pleasing aroma replays. It nicely balanced throughout with good acidity. The mouthfeel is rich, while the finish is long. Score: 90 pts

Agent: N/A

DOMAINE BOISSON CÔTES DU RHÔNE ROSÉ 2017 - AOP, Rhône, France (XD) - 6.20 €
50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 20% Cinsault, and 10% Carignan made in the saignée method. Medium-high intensity nose is fresh with white peach, grapefruit, herbally and garrigue aromas. It is dry on the light-to-medium bodied with a chalky mineral texture, some structure and complexity, and herbally, raspberry aroma replays. Very good finish length. Score: 88 pts

Domaine Boisson Côtes du Rhône Rosé 2017 (88 pts)Domaine Boisson Cuvée L'Exigence Cairanne Blanc 2016 (89 pts)

DOMAINE BOISSON CUVÉE L'EXIGENCE CAIRANNE BLANC 2016 - AOP, Rhône, France (XD) - 12.10 €
Blend of 45% Roussanne, 35% Clairette, and 25% Grenache Blanc that underwent malolactic fermentation and was aged in used barrels. Medium intensity nose with apple, stone fruit, lemon citrus. Wood influence is apparent, plus nice aroma replays on the nicely balanced flavour profile. A touch creamy with grapefruit flavours mid-palate. Juicy acids. Nicely textured and elegant on the long finish. Score: 89 pts

Agent: N/A

DOMAINE ALARY L'EXCLUS D'ALARY BLANC 2017 - AOP Côtes du Rhône, France (XD)
Not Cairanne appellation because it is 100% Clairette, however, it is from 35-year-old vines in Cairanne raised in demi-muid barrels. Medium intensity nose offers lanolin, yellow flowers, and white peach aromas. Medium-bodied with crisp acids and lemon oil, herbal, and anise seed flavours. More lemony on the mid-palate. Nicely balanced with fine mineral notes lingering on the finish, with very good length. Score: 88 pts

Domaine Alary L'Exclus d'Alary Blanc 2017 (88 pts)Domaine Alary L'Estévanas Cairanne Blanc 2017 (89 pts)

DOMAINE ALARY L'ESTÉVANAS CAIRANNE BLANC 2017 - AOP, Rhône, France (XD)
Clairette and Roussanne blend. Medium+ intensity nose is fresh with white peach, lemon, yellow floral, and herbs. Nicely textured on the medium+ bodied palate with pleasing aroma replays, bright acids, and very good length on the herbally finish. Score: 89 pts

Agent: Brand New Day Wines & Spirits (ON)

Les Grandes Serres Carius Cairanne Blanc 2017 (90 pts)

LES GRANDES SERRES CARIUS CAIRANNE BLANC 2017 - AOP, Rhône, France (XD)
Mostly Bourboulenc (50%) with Clairette and Grenache Blanc completing the blend, this has lovely, fresh medium-high intensity aromas and flavour of lanolin, white flower, lemon oil and citrus. It's medium-bodied and elegant, ripe fruited, rich and rounded. Clean acids. Long, elegant finish. Aged on the lees in stainless steel and concrete tanks. Score: 90 pts

Agent: Profile Wine Group (ON)

DOMAINE RABASSE CHARAVIN CUVÉE D'ESTEVANAS CAIRANNE BLANC 2017 - AOP, Rhône, France (XD) - 21 €
Mostly Roussanne, this has a medium+ intensity and clean nose of lemon/lime, floral and herbs. It has bright acids and is somewhat structured, creamy, and very ripe with nice herbally aroma replays. Very good length on the finish. Score: 89 pts

Domaine Rabasse Charavin Cuvée d'Estevanas Cairanne Blanc 2017 (89 pts)Domaine Rabasse Charavin Rose Prune 2017 (88 pts)

DOMAINE RABASSE CHARAVIN ROSE PRUNE 2017 - AOP Côtes du Rhône, France (XD) - 9.5 €
Blend of 50% Grenache, 25% Counoise, and 25% Carignan. This has a medium+ intensity nose that's clean and fresh with raspberry, herbal, and garrigue aromas. Dry with nice fruity aroma replays and bright, fresh acids on the palate. Very good finish length. Score: 88 pts

Agent: N/A

DOMAINE BRUSSET JEANNE B. CÔTES DU RHÔNE ROSÉ 2017 - AOP, Rhône, France (XD) - 7.5 €
2% of production. Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. Medium-intensity nose is ripe and fruit with raspberry and strawberry aromas. It's medium+ bodied with a plush mouthfeel, some structure, and pleasing aroma replays plus some herbally character. There's fresh acids and a fine mineral mid-palate. Very good finish length with some chalky mineral texture. Score: 88+ pts

Domaine Brusset Jeanne B. Côtes du Rhône Rosé 2017 (88+ pts)Domaine Brusset L'Esprit de Papet Cairanne 2016 (90+ pts)

DOMAINE BRUSSET L'ESPRIT DE PAPET CAIRANNE 2016 - AOP, Rhône, France (XD) - 18 €
Meaning "spirit of grandfather", this is a blend of 40% Viognier, 40% Roussanne, 10% Clairette, and 10% Grenache Blanc was raised in oak for 18 months. Wood-influenced aromas plus baked apple, spice, herbs, and butter. It's medium-full bodied on the palate with a fine seam of acidity and touches of floral and lemon oil flavours joining the aroma profile. Creamy mid-palate and very good finish length. Score: 90+ pts

Agent: Rogers & Company (ON)

PIERRE AMADIEU CÔTES DU RHÔNE ROULEPIERRE 2017 - AOP, Rhône, France (XD) - $19.95 CAD
This 75/25 Clairette and Grenache Blanc blend has a medium intensity nose that is all mineral, lemon and herbal aromas and flavours with a lovely saline character taking the lead on the medium+ bodied palate. Fresh, fine acids and somewhat structured. Nicely elegant with a long, clean finish. Score: 89 pts

Pierre Amadieu Côtes du Rhône Roulepierre 2017 (89 pts)Pierre Amadieu Domaine Grand Romane Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2017 (89 pts)

PIERRE AMADIEU DOMAINE GRAND ROMANE CÔTES DU RHÔNE BLANC 2017 - AOP, Rhône, France (XD)
100% Clairette from vines planted in 1955, barrel-fermented and aged on the lees for 6 months, this has a subtle nose of herb, white flower and white peach. It is medium-full bodied and creamy with very nice aroma replays and juicy acids. Some woody notes arrive mid-palate and add elegance. Very good finish length. Score: 89 pts

Agent: Trilogy Wine Group (ON), Balthazard (QC)


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  • Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Rhône Wine Tour 2018 - Luberon and Ventoux (Day 1)

Domaine des Peyre (Luberon)
I had a wonderful opportunity to visit the southern Rhône Valley in May to focus on the brilliant white and rosé wines from the region. It was a 4-day trip with visits to wineries and meet with winemakers in Luberon, Ventoux, Cairanne, Costières de Nîmes, Lirac and Tavel AOCs.

After arriving at Marseille Provence Airport, we travelled about 1 hour north to Domaine des Peyre, a boutique winery and hotel in the Luberon AOC where we would be spending the night. Since Craig Pinhey and I had some time to relax while we waited for Daenna Van Mulligen to arrive before heading out for dinner, we tasted a few delicious wines while sitting and chatting on the patio, all the while observing our peaceful surroundings. We learned that some parts of this historic building were built in the 16th century. There was also a church (which was to host a wedding in a few days) that was originally built in the 9th century.

Domaine des Peyre (Luberon)

Anne Georget was our first guide for this trip, and she took us to dinner at La Bergerie, a casual-fine dining restaurant located on the hill village of Bonnieux that had an amazing view overlooking the valley below. The food was delicious, as we enjoyed some wine on the outdoor patio with truffle pizza (yes, I had truffles for the first time, and it wasn't too bad). It got a bit chilly, so we moved indoors and sat near the kitchen which had an open flame that was used for cooking meats and various other dishes, but also provided some much needed heat to warm the room. I opted for the delicious roasted chicken and capped my meal with a chocolate mousse. It was a great way to end the day, as we had a long (and busy) week ahead of us.

La BergerieLa Bergerie

Our covered the Luberon and Ventoux AOCs. The first stop was actually not too far from the restaurant we dined at the night before. Château la Canorgue is a family-owned and -operated winery in Luberon that is led by the father-daughter team of Jean-Pierre Margan and his daughter Nathalie. The family has been producing wine at this domain for 5 generations on a fascinating site that was built upon the remains of an ancient Roman villa. Château la Canorgue takes its name from the many ancient underground aqua tunnels that cross below the vineyards - we got to see one of these amazing water channels. Nine days prior to our visit, the winery experienced a very localized, disastrous 15-minute hail storm that left nearly 30 cm of ice/snow on the ground. However, it had completely melted by the time we arrived, leaving behind severely damaged vines that Nathalie said will likely need a couple of years to recover. Approximately 80% of their crop was lost due to this freak storm.

Château la Canorgue - Nathalie and Jean-Pierre MarganChâteau la Canorgue Vineyard

Château la Canorgue - Winemaking FacilityChâteau la Canorgue - Tank Room

After a brief walk among the vines, Nathalie took us inside their gravity-flow production facility that was added to their 17th century cellar which was once a silk factory at one point in its history. Château la Canorgue was the very first organic winery in the Luberon and has been producing wines using organic methods, and a few Biodynamic principles, since the 1970's. After tasting through some fine tank samples, we moved into the tasting room to try some of their latest whites and rosé wines. The domain's 40 hectares, most of which are terraced, are planted to traditional regional varietals with 25% of their production devoted to white wines, and 25% to rosés. Grapes for these wines are typically machine-harvested from 3 a.m. to 8 a.m., to keep the grapes cool and allowing for better control over the fermentation process. Vines average 40 years old, with some plots at 80 years old, and some even older at 100 years old. Tasting notes of a couple of my favourites wines tasted here and elsewhere on this day are provided below.

The second stop was Domaine de la Citadelle, a winery founded in 1990 by short-film producer Yves Rousset-Rouard when he purchased a old farmhouse with 8 ha of vines. It is located on the northern slope of Luberon, 35 km east of Avignon and the mouth of the Rhône and Durance rivers. Today, there are 50 ha of vines planted on mostly clay and limestone soils, along with some alluvial marl, griess, and gravel. Since it had been raining, we did not take a walk through the vineyards and proceeded directly to the upper level overlooking the production facility. Like the first winery, they also have a gravity-fed vinification process to gently move the wine through the various stages. It also recently became certified organic in 2016 and use horses to work the soil. 50% of their production is devoted to white (30%) and rosé (20%) wines. The three main ranges of wines in their portfolio are terroir-driven - La Châtaignier from sandy marl soils, the middle-tier Les Artèmes which come from primarily gravel and sandstone soils, and the higher-end Le Gouverneur range which come from their best terroirs and oldest vines. 2017 was a tough vintage due to a severe frost that affected nearly 15 ha of vines, followed by a very long drought with no rain for 6 months. Even with yields practically halved, the wines expressed their terroir with freshness and balance.

Domaine de la Citadelle - TanksDomaine de la Citadelle Rosé Wines

Domaine de la Citadelle White WinesDomaine de la Citadelle - Barrel Room

Lunch was at La Maison de la Truffe & du Vin, a fine-dining establishment that included truffle in each of their dishes. It was located in the Luberon mountains, in the hilltop village of Ménerbes overlooking the valley below. Considering that I had my first truffle the night before (and survived), I was less nervous about having truffles with each course. We enjoyed lunch with two wine producers, which definitely helped calm my nerves regarding the truffles.

Joining us for lunch was Winemaker Sylvain Morey from La Bastide du Claux, and Sabrina Fillod, Export Marketing Manager at Marrenon. Each winery brought four delicious wines to taste.

Sylvain Morey's roots are in Burgundy as he is a descendant of (Domaine) Albert Morey. He began La Bastide du Claux in 2002 to bring his Burgundian vision and winemaking craft to the rising Luberon AOC. Sylvain has a fragmented 15 ha vineyard that offers a rich combination of soils, climates and exposures, and tries to highlight its characteristics. Approximately one-third of all wines produced in Luberon are rosés. One of the interesting points that Sylvain mentioned was the fact that even though Luberon is part of the historical region of Provence, with similar terroir, they are not part of Provence AOC and, thus, cannot put "Provence" on the label. Given that rosé wines from Provence carry some weight and prestige, wineries in Luberon are at a somewhat disadvantage. Perhaps one day we will see the rules changed, but in the meantime we shall continue enjoying lovely the wines of Luberon, which are part of the Rhône AOC, and offer great value!

Sylvain Morey, La Bastide du ClauxMarrenon, Sabrina Fillod

Marrenon is a large cooperative consisting of 7 wineries and 650 winegrowers that was created in 1965. All 4,200 hectares of vineyards are based in the heart of a Regional Natural Park which is recognized as a natural biosphere reserve by UNESCO, and spread out along the mountain ranges of Luberon and Ventoux, ranging in altitude from 150 to 500 metres. With vineyards located in the South East Rhône Valley and in Provence, 50% of their production is devoted to rosé wines and 20% to white wines. They were also the first producer to grow Vermentino (Rolle) in France. They are committed to the environment and sustainability, and all of the work is controlled and approved by Agri-Confiance Certification which, among other things, includes respecting nature and environment, fair income for the producers, and vine-to-glass traceability. There are 3 ranges of wines - Classique, Altitude, and Exclusive Single Estate wines. All of the wines we tasted during lunch were from their Single Estate line, and were delicious!

La Maison de la Truffe & du Vin

After lunch, we visited Domaine de Fondrèche, a family-owned winery that was founded by Nanou Barthelémy when she purchased the property in 1993. Her son, Sébastien Vincenti, joined the business a few years later after spending some time in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. They have 38 ha of organically cultivated vineyards, 10 ha of which are dedicated to producing terroir-driven rosé wines from sandy soils and white wines from clay and limestone soils. As Sébastien took us through the wines and gave us a tour of the winery, it was obvious that he was very passionate about wine and the winemaking process. The winery was built to favour the use of gravity, including having the press sit a few metres above ground, thus allowing the juice to escape through a hole at the bottom of the press with the assistance of gravity. It is interesting to note that Sébastien does not use any sulphites during pressing. Domaine de Fondrèche produces three lines of wines, and I was most impressed with their middle-tier Persia line that come from their older vines.

Sébastien Vincenti, Domaine de Fondrèche

Domaine de Fondrèche - Concrete Eggs and Oak BarrelsDomaine de Fondrèche

The final stop of the day was at Château Pesquié, an estate winery owned by a family that is passionate about the Ventoux region and recognized its potential. Odette & René Bastide purchased the property that is located at the foot of the Ventoux Mountain in the early 1970's and became pioneers of AOC Côtes du Ventoux. Even though vines had been cultivated in this region for more than a thousand years, the AOC was only created in 1973. In the mid-1980's, their daughter Edith and her husband Paul Chaudière joined the business. In 1989, the family stopped selling their grapes to the local cooperative and formed their own cellars. In 2003, Paul and Edith's two sons, Alexandre and Frédéric, took over the Domaine and continue the family tradition of producing terrific wines that harness the outstanding Ventoux terroir. We had the pleasure of meeting Alexandre, who through three generations of winemakers in the family have always tried to be agriculturally sustainable and responsible, mentioned that they hope to be certified biodynamic in 2019. Château Pesquié has one of the coolest micro-climates in the south of the Rhône Valley, thanks to slightly higher elevations and mountain influence, while also having great mineral diversity, but predominantly limestone. They have a fabulous visitor centre with impressive displays showcasing their terroir, among other things. The wines are also tasty! Château Pesquié is definitely a place to visit if you're in the area.

Château Pesquié

Château Pesquié

The evening was capped off with a gourmet dinner and a quiet night at the lovely Château de Mazan Hotel that is housed in an 18th century mansion located in the centre of the town of Mazan, nestled at the foot of Mont Ventoux.

Château de MazanChâteau Unang Ventoux Blanc 2017

Château de MazanChâteau de Mazan

This post is just the first in the series. A visit to the Cairanne AOC is next on the itinerary, and reviews from my trip to the other Rhône AOCs will be posted in the coming days.

Tasting Notes:

Domaine des Peyre Paparazzi 2017 (87 pts)

DOMAINE DES PEYRE PAPARAZZI 2017 - AP Ventoux, Rhône, France (XD) - 11.5 €
Mostly Grenache, with Syrah, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre completing the blend. Medium+ intensity nose is fresh with herbal, garrigue, stone fruit and peach aromas. Medium-bodied palate is delicate with herbally and stone fruit flavours, and a vague impression of sweetness. Clean and balanced, some saline mid-palate. Very good finish length. Score: 87 pts

Agent: DB Wine & Spirits (ON)

CHÂTEAU LA CANORGUE LUBERON ROSÉ 2017 - AC, Rhône, France (XD) - 9.50 €
Majority Grenache, with Syrah and Mourvèdre completing the blend. Medium+ intensity nose has herbally, raspberry, and currant aromas. Red berry flavours of raspberry, red currant and strawberry on the medium-bodied, dry palate lifted by fresh acidity. Fine, crisp finish. Score: 88 pts

Château la Canorgue Luberon Rosé 2017 (88 pts)Château la Canorgue Luberon Blanc 2017 (90 pts)

CHÂTEAU LA CANORGUE LUBERON BLANC 2017 - AC, Rhône, France (XD) - 10.50 €
Co-fermented and equal parts Roussanne, Marsanne, Clairette, Grenache, Bourbeblanc, and Vermentino. Lovely citrus and exotic fruits with plenty of minerality on the nose and flavour profile. The medium+ bodied palate is structured and has a creamy texture with a nice mineral, mid-palate supported by fresh acids. Nicely balanced overall, dry. Floral and fruit on the long finish. Score: 90 pts

Agent: N/A

DOMAINE DE LA CITADELLE LES ATÈRMES ROSÉ 2017 - AOP Luberon, Rhône, France (XD) - 12 €
Vines located 300 m above sea level. 80% Mourvèdre. Subtle raspberry, earth, and mineral aromas. Medium-bodied with crisp acids, rounded mouthfeel and nice aroma replays in a dry style. Structured, spicy, nice clean finish. Enjoy over the next 3-4 years. Score: 88+ pts

Domaine de la Citadelle Les Atèrmes Rosé 2017 (88+ pts)Domaine de la Citadelle Le Châtaignier Blanc 2017 (88+ pts)

DOMAINE DE LA CITADELLE LE CHÂTAIGNIER BLANC 2017 - AOP Luberon, Rhône, France (XD) - 8.50 €
Blend of Clairette, Grenache Blanc, and Marsanne. Subtle stony mineral and herbal aromas continue on the medium-bodied palate, joined by some lemon/lime flavours. Clean acids offer a crisp mouthfeel. Very good length on the fresh finish. Score: 88+ pts

Agent: Balthazard (QC)

BASTIDE DU CLAUX L'ODALISQUE 2016 - AOC Luberon, Rhône, France (XD)
40% Grenache Blanc blended with equal parts Vermentino and Viognier, all spending some time in oak barrels. Medium-high intensity nose with stone fruit and lemon oil notes. It's medium+ bodied on the smoky, structured palate with lemony acids and flavours. Buttery, baked apple notes linger on the long finish. Score: 89 pts

Bastide du Claux l'Odalisque 2016 (89 pts)Bastide du Claux Barraban 2009 (91 pts)

BASTIDE DU CLAUX BARRABAN 2009 - AOC Luberon, Rhône, France (XD)
40% Grenache Blanc, the rest equal parts Vermentino, Clairette, and Ugni Blanc. Pours a deep gold colour, this has medium-high intensity waxy, lanolin, floral, and herbally aromas, all which comes through nicely on the medium-bodied, dry, spicy palate. Nicely textured with balanced acidity. Drinking well now, but could age another 5-7 years. Score: 91 pts

Agent: N/A

MARRENON PETULA 2017 - AOC Luberon, Rhône, France (XD)
Syrah and Grenache Noir. Pretty raspberry, strawberry aromas are open and fragrant with fine minerality. It's medium-bodied, crisp, and clean on the subtly spicy palate with nice, balanced acids and herbally aroma replays. Long with some structure on the finish. Score: 89 pts

Marrenon Petula 2017 (89 pts)Marrenon Grand Marrenon Blanc 2017 (90 pts)

MARRENON GRAND MARRENON BLANC 2017 - AOC Luberon, Rhône, France (XD)
Equal parts Grenache Blanc and Vermentino, and 10% Roussanne. Elegant, medium-high intensity nose shows finesse with ripe, balanced yellow fruit, white flowers, mineral and barrel-aged oak nuances. It's light-to-medium bodied on the nicely balanced palate with pleasing aroma replays supported by vibrant acids. Clean lime and mineral notes, touch bitter on the long finish. Score: 90 pts

Agent: Von Terra (ON)

DOMAINE DE FONDRÈCHE PERSIA ROSÉ 2017 - AOP Ventoux, Rhône, France (XD) - 20 €
Half Mourvèdre, the rest equal parts Grenache and Syrah. Medium-intensity nose has herbally, spicy, currant, floral, and raspberry aromas. Juicy, fresh acids support the medium-bodied, spiced palate with curranty aroma replays. Spiced finish with very good length. Score: 88 pts

Domaine de Fondrèche Persia Rosé 2017 (88 pts)Domaine de Fondrèche Persia Blanc 2017 (89 pts)

DOMAINE DE FONDRÈCHE PERSIA BLANC 2017 - AOP Ventoux, Rhône, France (XD) - 20 €
Roussanne from 30-40 year old vines, the nose is reserved with lime citrus and herbs, and hints of hay and white stone fruit. The medium-bodied palate is ripe, rounded with very good acidity. White peach, melon, and some herbal, fennel flavours. Nicely textured on the mid-palate through to the finish, with very good length. Score: 89 pts

Agent: Sens.i (QC)

CHÂTEAU PESQUIÉ TERRASSES ROSÉ 2017 - AOP Ventoux, Rhône, France (XD) - 11 €
50% Cinsault, 40% Grenache, and 10% Syrah. Shy nose has raspberry, red berry and citrus aromas. Structured, medium-bodied palate has more raspberry and citrus notes with hints of floral. Fresh, juicy acids support the crunchy fruit. Clean, lemony notes on the long finish. Score: 88 pts

Château Pesquié Terrasses Rosé 2017 (88 pts)Château Pesquié Quintessence Blanc 2016 (89 pts)

CHÂTEAU PESQUIÉ QUINTESSENCE BLANC 2016 - AOC Ventoux, Rhône, France (XD) - 16 €
Blend of 80% Roussanne (barrel-fermented) and 20% Clairette, with trace amounts of Viognier, and then blended and aged in concrete tanks. Subtle aromas offer wood-influenced herbal, white peach, and hints of citrus, all which come through on the medium-bodied palate. Fresh, balanced acids provide lift. Nicely textured with crunchy fruit, and very good length on the finish. Score: 89 pts

Agent: The Vine Agency (ON), Sélections Oeno (QC)


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