Founded in 1995, Calmel & Joseph is a négociant house specializing in Languedoc-Roussillon wines from private wineries from across the region. Over the years, they have built close personal relationships with a large number of growers from all appellations. Convinced of the extraordinary potential of this region, oenologist, Laurent Calmel, and Jerome Joseph work together on the vinification, blending and ageing of wines with the common purpose of demonstrating the little known, yet unique quality of these Mediterranean terroirs.
Mourvèdre 50%, Syrah 25%, Grenache 25% from low yielding vines grown on a mixture of limestone gravel and sandy clay soil.
Vinification follows traditional methods with regular pipeage (punching down of the cap to maximise extraction and texture). The malolactic takes place in barrel and the wine is aged for 14 months in a mixture of new wood (20%), second fill (30%) and third fill (50%).
Deep red in colour, the nose is full and intense with notes of red berries and hints of Mediterranean herbs and spices. On the palate, the texture is supple, concentrated and well-balanced, with fine tannins. Notes of menthol, bay leaves, blackcurrants and spices.
Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe, established in 1891, has been run by the Brunier family for five generations. The estate’s vineyards are situated on the famous “Plateau de la Crau” the stony terrace where there is nothing but “galets roulés”, or rounded stones, as far as the eye can see. This special terroir imparts a highly distinctive minerality to the wines.
With the Bruniers’ expansion into the satellite appellations, Daniel and Frédéric have produced some delightful fruit driven, crunchy wines.
“Le Pigeoulet” comes from two separate parcels, 10 hectares on the lower southwest facing slopes of Mont Ventoux and 3 hectares on the east bank of the Rhône, 15km north of Avignon. The blend is 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah and 10% Cargnan and Cinsault and ageing is in foudres for 12 months.
The Sabon estate has 16 hectares of vineyards in some of the best sites of Châteauneuf – but they also have 17 hectares on the western side of the river in Roquemaure where this fine Lirac is produced.
The wine making is today handled by Didier Negron, the son-in- law of the late Jean Jacques Sabon. The vineyards are managed by Jean Jacque’s brother Denis and his son Julien.
Grenache is predominant as with all the wines of the Domaine. It is blended with Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan.
The young wine is aged in large oak foudres for about six months. Very dark in the glass the nose has aromas of black and red fruits as well as spice and tobacco hints. The fruit flavours follow through to the palate that is full and round with soft tannins and warming spice.
This small co-operative, founded in 1954, has 110 members and 200 hectares of vineyard in the Haut-Rhin, nine kilometres from Colmar.
Grapes for the Gewürztraminer Réserve are grown in vineyards running along the south and south-east facing hillside slopes around the village of Hunawihr at an altitude of 250-320 metres above sea level. The average age of the vines is 25 years old.
This Gewürztraminer was made from a blend of micro-parcels from the Hunawihr vineyards, picked at optimum ripeness. The temperature controlled fermentation took place between 16-18°C for three weeks, followed by four months in stainless steel tanks to settle before careful filtration. No malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place.
Straw yellow in colour with an elegant silver gold tint. The nose is complex with very delicate flavours of exotic lychee and mango with a hint of rose. Full-bodied, this is a medium dry wine with a refreshing acidity. Rose perfumes continue on the long finish.
The Vigneau brothers, Christophe and Stéphane, have 30 hectares of Chenin Blanc grown on prime Vouvray vineyards spread over a variety of sites.
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.
“Cuvée Clos de Vaux” is textbook demi-sec Vouvray with hints of honey and floral notes supported by a fine structure of mineral elegance.
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 Gris is dry and rich with the spice and texture so typical of the variety. A backbone of firm acidity gives the wine a lovely structure and balance and prevents it from being overblown.
A super property beautifully situated just below Le Château du Moulin-à-Vent with very fine terroir. Thierry Janin is a true “vigneron”! He owns 1 hectare and rents and works a further 6 hectares on a metayage basis – receiving a proportion of the production.
Thierry adheres to organic principles in the vineyards. In most years the grapes are whole bunch fermented. Minimal doses of SO2 are usually added during fermentation and just before bottling. The wine is very lightly filtered.
The Moulin-à-Vent comes from 45 – 55 year old vines and is aged in old foudres.
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 6-9 months in predominantly 2nd and 3rd fill oak.
The wine is dry with an added richness from the oak ageing It retains an elegant structure with good balancing acidity and minerality.
Gilles and Nathalie Fèvre met at university where they both qualified as oenologists. Gilles’ great grandfather began growing grapes and making wine in and around the village of Fontenay-Près-Chablis over a hundred years ago.
Today, they own 40 hectares of vines – all planted on Kimmeridgian limestone – throughout the region. The vines are mainly aged between 25 and 35 years although some date back to when Gilles’s greatgrandfather ran the domaine.
Gilles is in charge of viticulture. The finest possible grapes are grown with a fastidious, environmentally conscious approach to quality, lower yields and scrupulous selection. Nathalie oversees winemaking, where small, temperature controlled stainless steel tanks are used to vinify each parcel separately.
The resulting wines are beautiful expressions of classic, fine, concentrated, pure, steely, minerally Chablis.
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