Domaine La Bouïssière has been run by brothers Thierry and Gilles Faravel since the death of their father in 1990. The family has been farming the 30-50 year old, low-yielding vine organically since the late 1980’s.
Nine hectares of vines are situated at the base of the famous Dentelles de Montmirail making them some of the highest vineyards in Gigondas. This elevation permits a long growing season, adding elegance and freshness to the wines.
Unusually for this part of France, “Les Amis” contains 40% Merlot from a vineyard planted by Thierry next to the river Ouvèze. The Merlot adds a juicy, fruit driven style to the rich and spicy Grenache and Syrah that make up the rest of the blend. Merlot is not a permitted grape variety within the Gigondas appellation which is why the wine is designated vin de France.
This tiny domaine is the source of some of the finest, richest and most concentrated wines in Alsace.
Domaine Bruno Sorg was created in 1965 by Renée and Bruno Sorg in Ingersheim, the village where Renée was born. In 1972, they bought a house with outbuildings in Eguisheim, the village where Bruno was born, and where the business is located today.
In 2004 François, Bruno’s son, built a temperature controlled winery just outside the village. François says he now has time to think instead of climbing up and down ladders and stairs.
Their decision to follow the principles of sustainable farming for the vineyards enables the coexistence of natural, and sometimes rare, species of fauna and flora alongside the vines.
The Pinot Blanc is dry, refreshing and soft with an almost creamy style – several notches up from most wines made from this underrated grape variety it makes a lovely alternative to unoaked Chardonnay.
We always felt that Laurent Guillet was a star in the Beaujolais and now that he has his father’s old vines in the Côte de Py the results are stunning. He is also making delicious Chiroubles from his wife’s family vineyard.
The Morgon is from 50-60 year old vines. Fermentation is in a mixture of steel and cement vats with 8 months ageing in both vats and foudre (1000+ litre barrels).
To the south of Bordeaux city, near Cadillac, Château Ricaud boasts an exceptionally diverse array of soils. Impressed by its quality potential and the architectural splendour of the château, Alain Thiénot (of Champagne fame) bought the property in 1980 and has subsequently put in place a remodelling plan to transform the estate into a benchmark Loupiac and to create a Côtes de Bordeaux worthy of the finest wines.
Château de Ricaud Cadillac is a blend of 90% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon & 2% Petit Verdot from vines with an average age of 25 years. The wine was vinified in temperature-controlled stainless steel, followed by ageing in oak barriques, 20% of which were new, for 12 months.
With its appealing dark ruby appearance, the wine is complex on the nose offering initial notes of strawberry and blackberry. Beautifully structured on the palate, full and generous with rounded, fleshy tannins. Perfectly integrated oak character accompanies the long, delicately spiced finish.
Situated in Davayé, at the foot of the rock of Solutré, the Chavet family have 12 hectares under vine, 10 of which are in the appellation of St Véran. The current custodian, Christophe, is the sixth generation of Chavets to manage the Domaine.
The vines, which average around 30 years old, are planted on stoney, clay-limestone soils facing south-east to south-west. The planting density is an unusually high 8,000 vines per hectare.
After a combination of machine and hand-picking, a stringent selection and gentle pressing, the wine is simply fermented in cuve at around 18 °C for 6-7 weeks. Once the alcoholic and malolactic fermentations are completed, the wine spends a further 4-5 months in cuve, sur lie, prior to bottling the following spring.
The resulting wine is fine, crisp, clean, and soft with fresh minerally.
A great introduction to white Burgundy, or, for the already converted, a lovely, affordable treat!
The Colonge family have been making wine in this part of the Beaujolais region since 1789. Lying in the heart of the northern, Cru, area of the region, they are based in the commune of Lancié. The estate comprises 37 hectares divided between 4 appellations: Fleurie, Brouilly, Beaujolais-Villages and Beaujolais.
Colonge have 7.3 hectares of Fleurie vineyards on south/south eastern facing slopes.
Fermentation is by semi-carbonic maceration combined with whole bunch fermentation. Maceration lasts around 10 days. This allows the wine to get the tannic structure required for ageing. Bottling is after the Easter following the harvest, for a cellaring potential of 5 to 6 years.
Deep ruby red in appearance with crimson tints. The nose is floral with spice aromas at the fore giving way to red fruits and vanilla. The palate is complex, fleshy and creamy with silky tannins and very ripe black fruit.
The Vigneau brothers, Christophe and Stéphane, have 30 hectares of Chenin Blanc grown on prime Vouvray vineyards spread over a variety of sites.
The delicious, minerally Vouvray Sec “Cuvée Silex” is from flint (silex) and clay soils. Silex is considered the finest soil type for the Chenin Blanc in this part of the Loire Valley.
Pale straw in appearance, the nose has a lovely blend of herby notes, green apple freshness and just a touch of honey. The palate is dry with apple flavours, brilliant zesty structure and a very long finish.
The late Jean-Michel Vigneau began the process of converting to organic production in the early 1990’s and in 1999 Vigneau-Chevreau received certification from Ecocert. The current generation have taken the next step by adopting a biodynamic approach which pays close attention to the natural rhythms of the earth and lunar cycles.
Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau is one of the only two estates in Vouvray to be biodynamic and they own 25% of the appellation’s organic vineyards – 30 ha.
Situated at the foot of Mount Brouilly, this estate of some 70 hectares of vines, produces delicious Brouilly. The vineyards are on weathered granite, the soil is shallow and poor – sandy, acid and containing rock debris. Deeper down the subsoil is rich in mineral elements such as iron, potassium and manganese giving the wine its special character.
The grapes are hand picked, sorted and de-stemmed before being put into temperature controlled stainless steel vats for a long (2-3 week) maceration period during which the chapeau de marc -the cap of the grape skins- is regularly pushed down into the juice (pigeage), to enhance the aromatics, colour and body of the finished wine.
After pneumatic pressing, the malolactic fermentation takes place gently and slowly throughout the winter after which the wine is bottled in the spring. The wines are always aged for several months at the château before release.
Bright, deep purple in appearance, the bouquet is dominated by notes of ripe fruit. In the mouth it is full and silky with soft, supple tannins – serious and classic Beaujolais.
André Roméro is a most characterful and talented grower. He founded Domaine la Soumade in 1979 and was joined by his son Frédéric in 1996 on completion of his oenology studies. Today the estate covers 26 hectares, including a new plot of 2.5 hectares of the finest land in Rasteau – pure ‘Argile bleue’ with 60 year old vines.
Whilst Frédéric has assumed responsibility for most of the day to day work on the domaine, André is still actively involved, that is when he is not following the fortunes of F.C. Barcelona!
Domaine la Soumade practices “agriculture raisonée” (sustainable winemaking) in all of their vineyards, only treating the vines where absolutely necessary.
They use organic compost which is only applied when soil deficiencies are revealed, following analysis of the soil and vine vegetation. When climatic conditions dictate they use organically permitted treatments (sulphur and copper) to protect the vines from mildew and oidium.
The Domaine la Soumade Rasteau is 80% Grenache Noir, 10% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre from low yielding (38 hl per ha) vines varying in age from 10 – 30 years.
The grapes are harvested by hand with the best grapes selected on a sorting table in the vineyard.
Traditional winemaking with punching down of the skin cap and a regular pumping over of juice in open stainless steel tanks. Maceration of the skins lasts between 14 and 18 days with a temperature controlled fermentation.
Copyright 2014 | Richard Granger Fine Wine Merchants