At the southern end of the RhoneValley
, just to the south of the village of Vaison-la-Romaine
, the Dentelles de Montmirail dominate the skyline.
The Dentelles are a small chain of mountains which are effectively the foothills of the highest peak in Provence
, Mont Ventoux, situated just to the east.
They have something of an impressive and imposing nature being the result of layers of Jurassic limestone, folded on end to sit vertically and subsequently eroded into jagged and menacing forms as if standing sentry over the precious patchwork of vineyards beneath.
|The Dentelles de Montmirail
The Dentelles guard some illustrious names, most notably Chateauneuf du Pape though over the course of the last few decades or so many of the surrounding vineyards have raised their winemaking to such levels that villages such as Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Lirac, Rasteau and others now enjoy the prestige of their own village appellations and in many cases rival the wines of all but the very best Chateauneuf producers. In many cases the lesser-known names represent much better value for money.
|Chateauneuf du Pape
We have always offered a range of wines from the southern Rhone from a few well-chosen individual producers but the recent sale of Domaine de Cassan
and the decision of the new owner to sell off their Gigondas vineyards mean that we will be keeping our eyes (and mouths) open for a new addition or two in due course.
If you’ve enjoyed the wines of Domaine de Cassan in the past and wish to grab a few bottles while we still have stock left of their 2009 Gigondas
or 2010 Ventoux ‘Les Esclausels’
then now is your time!
Possibly more intriguing is their 2010 Beaumes de Venise Rouge
– another of the villages with its own appellation, widely known for its sweet Muscat
desert wine, though here is a fine example of red Beaumes de Venise (80% Grenache, 18% Syrah, 2% Mourvedre aged in cuve).
Again stocks are limited.
|Domaine de Cassan
We have also bought the last of the stock from the UK
agent of the 2009 Vacqueyras
from Domaine Saint Pierre
This wine is no longer available in the UK
and we have a couple of cases left.
It’s 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah, with production at only 35hectolitres per hectare it’s a wine of rich concentration, power and depth.
The grapes are destemmed and cold-macerated, then blended and macerated for about 3 weeks under temperature control, with daily punching down of the fermentation cap, and aged for 6 - 12 months in large oak foudres, before assemblage and bottling.
It can be drunk now, but if you lost a few bottles under the stairs of a few years it wouldn’t matter!
|The vineyards of Vacqueyras
Fascinating and powerful reds are very much the order of the day in the southern Rhone
They’re usually Grenache or Syrah-dominated blends and frequently contain smaller proportions of other local grapes
to add to the blend.
With a sprinkling of deliciously fragrant whites and mouthwatering roses as well, the southern Rhone is well worth exploring and if the only name you are familiar with from this part of the world is “Chateauneuf” do have a look at our website or pop into the shop and we’d be pleased to suggest some clever alternatives to the most famous of names.
Equally, if only Chateauneuf will do, we have plenty to choose from.
Our Other Southern Rhone
2013 Cotes du Rhone Rose currently being shipped
Other follow-on vintages of Domaine de la Mordoree wines available on request.