Our Dearest old vines can have a rest now as their 2011 vintage is behind. Let's talk about what they have beautifuly produced now.
NB : This beautiful picture was taken by my lovely wife Kristi. Check out her new book here.
2011 is about to close but this is more than a year that is over. Those 5 first years of hard work, hope, pain, joy, fear, excitement have finally permitted us to give birth to a range of wines that reflects our terroir and wine mentality. Let's review them
Dentelle Rosé :
Our Rosé is the outcome of the style I like for such a wine which should be fresh and fruity. When we crushed our first grapes in 2007, it was not at all in my mind to make some rosé. As a Provence raised guy, I was a bit shy to make the rosé I like in the Southern Rhone. Our first rosé finally came out in 2008 as this cool vintage allowed to compensate with the general lack of natural acidity. From then, I have been "hunting" for more acidity and I found the recepie with early harvest combined with direct press which permits to maintain acidity high and alcohol low. Its name (Dentelle) is a play on words as we are facing Dentelles de Montmirail and as "Dentelle", which means lace in English is a good way to describe this smooth and light wine made from Grenache and Carignan.
Dentelle red :
In the same spirit of the rosé, this red is made to be a refreshing wine. Carignan has this natural ability to bring freshness and Grenache will bring the body of the wine. This wine can be drunk young, on the fruit side and even a bit cool. With a bit of aging, it turns into more minerality with some spices and gamy flavors. Vintages after vintages, I tend to reduce the maceration time in order to make a lighter wine, which fits well in the spirit of the "Dentelle". In 2011, I have reduced from 2 weeks to 10 days the maceration time and I might even try myself with a "nouveau" tank next year, apart from the regular wine.
Mistral red :
Just a couple days before the start of our first harvest in 07, a strong Mistral wind blew all night and eventually made a lot of very mature clusters fall on the ground. Well, this eventually decided on the official picking start, a bit earlier and by collecting fallen grapes but it was a clear message from Mother Nature. The full body, rich and powerful wine made from these very old vines was eventually named after this famous wind which describes quite well the wine and which is so important to our terroir.
This wine is also the best ambassador of what we produce, in volume (50%) and in spirit since it is elaborated with our very old Grenache vines.
Lunatique red :
Farming also permits to discover terroir and all its hidden treasures. Inside our 20 acres, there is a small area located on an old river bed where all the vines are planted on pebbles. No wonder why the people who planted them 60 years ago have used Grenache as the it is the very best grape for this kind of hot soil which reflects sun and heat to the vines. On this gorgeous day of end of September 2009, the whole harvest team was ready for 1/2 of work to complete harvest. Those grapes were supposed to fill the Mistral tank. But, on a "moody" decision, I decided to process those grapes separately which meant that we have to move some grapes in fermentation (which can be very dangerous) to get an empty tank. This "Lunatique" decision gave the name to the wine.
"Voila", these are all the wine stories for the moment... In 2013, we should harvest some white grapes from vines planted in 2009. I have a few ideas on names but of course, if you have some, they are welcome.
Merry Christmas to all of you, wishing you for the occasion a wonderful 2012 vintage to come.