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Domaine La Manarine

Manarine-logo Gilles Gasq II - BJ Manarine-Terres-Saintes-2004
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Domaine la Manarine was created by Gilles Gasq in April 2001. The winery and majority of his vineyards are located within the commune of Travaillan, on a splendid plateau northeast of Orange in the southern Rhone. Gilles is a talented vigneron who has honed his skills working as an assistant to Paul Jeune, the proprietor of Domaine Monpertuis in Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Expanding his holdings each year, Domaine La Manarine now encompasses 33 hectares of vineyards situated largely on what is known as the “Le Plan de Dieu”. For generations, this specific terroir has been recognized as unique. Recent research has identified the particular character of the underlying soil: a deep layer consisting of more than 60% hard limestone “galets” (large smooth pebbles). The climate is typically Mediterranean: relatively hot and dry with an average rainfall of between 600 and 800 mm per year. The rains usually come in the form of thunderstorms in late August which provide the vines with the water necessary to finish the maturation process (which tends to shut down under stressful drought conditions). Grenache Noir is the main grape variety of the region. It performs particularly well on this type of soil and gives wines more elegance and aroma than is otherwise common. Gilles also has one hectare of Syrah vines which are used to supplement the Grenache in the “Les Terres Saintes” enabling it to bear the appellation: Cotes du Rhone Villages – Le Plan de Dieu.

The vineyards are principally devoted to Grenache but include several parcels planted to white grape varieties Clairette, Bourboulenc, and Grenache Blanc (recently planted) which are used to make his Cotes du Rhone Blanc. In 2014, Gasq purchased a 3 hectares parcel of Carignan adjacent to one of his Cotes du Rhone parcels to make a special cuvee devoted to this underestimated varietal. Finally, in 2015, Gasq has returned to his roots at Domaine Monpertuis by purchasing two adjacent parcels of Grenache in Chateauneuf-du-Pape totaling 1.5 hectrare.

Domaine La Manarine practices organic viticulture. Work in the cellar is minimal with little intervention. Fermentations are left to start with indigenous yeasts, with no fining and only a light filtration is utilized if needed. Considering the personal attention and great care invested in his wines, his five bottlings offer some of the best value in our entire portfolio.

Manarine-White Cotes du Rhone Blanc: The sole white wine of the estate is produced from a blend of Clairette and Bourboulenc. The grapes are fermented in temperature-controlled cement tanks and are left in contact with the fine lies for several months. Bottling takes place in early spring of the year following harvest. Production is quite limited; 2400 bottles are reserved for our use in the USA. Organic.
Manarine-rose Cotes du Rhone Rosé: The Rosé from Manarine carries a light tint and is vinified completely dry. It is usually a blend of Grenache (60%), young vines Mourvedre (20%) and Syrah (20%). Like the white wine, it is fermented and aged in cement vats and is bottled in the early spring following harvest. We purchase approximately 6000 bottles per vintage. Organic.
Le Carignan Vin de Pays de Vaucluse: Le Carignan is sourced from a three-hectare parcel, “Le Alcyon”, located just outside of Travaillan. Gasq first produced a wine from these vines in 2014.  After harvesting the grapes around the middle of September, they are destemmed and fermented in stainless steel tanks for roughly 20 days before being aged on the fine lees for the better part of a year.  Gasq prefers to pick Carignan on the early side of its maturity to preserve its vibrant natural acidity and avoid making a wine that is overly alcoholic.  Generally, this cuvee weighs in at a modest 13.5% degree of alcohol and showcases a vibrant red fruit intensity, underscored by hints of wild herbs and earth.
Manarine-Rouge-blank Cotes du Rhone Rouge: The standard bearer of the domaine is the Côtes du Rhône Rouge produced from the younger (but not young) vines (average 35 years old) of the estate. This wine is 100% Grenache and produces a classically spicy, full-bodied wine that speaks clearly of the “garrigue” of the region. The grapes are destemmed before the fermentation and the cuvaison is on the order of three weeks duration. The wine is bottled without filtration after twenty to twenty-four months of “elevage”. The Manarine Cotes du Rhone is our essential wine in this category. We now purchase 15,000 bottles per annum. Organic.
Manarine-Terres-Saintes-2004 Cotes du Rhone Les Terres Saintes: The prestige cuvée of Manarine is destined for aging and bears the name: “Terres Saintes”. It is produced from a selection of lower yielding old vines (average 55 years old). Gilles destems the entire harvest and uses cement tanks for fermentation. The “Terres Saintes” (structured as a “vin de garde”) benefits from a longer “cuvaison” of 30 days or more. During the “elevage” both red wines go through “delestage” and “remontage” (a technique whereby the tank is completely emptied and the wine pumped back into it on top of the layer of skins) to extract color and flavor. Once the fermentation is complete, the wine is racked into cement vats for aging but 20% of the “Terres Saintes” is also aged for 8 months in “demi-muids” (larger barrels of 600 liter size). The wine is bottled without filtration after a 24 month “elevage”. On average, 4800 bottles of Terres Saintes are destined for our use in the US market each year. Organic.
Châteauneuf du Pape: Having first met Gilles Gasq through his work at Domaine Monpertuis in Chateauneuf du Pape, it is apt that he has circled back to the terroir where we made our first acquaintance. It has been Gasq’s dream to find a slice of the most esteemed terroir in the Southern Rhone, and as you can imagine the competition to purchase land in Châteauneuf du Pape can be fierce. Fortunately, in 2015, Gasq managed to purchase two adjacent parcels in the northern sector of the appellation. The two lieux dits, “Cabriéres” and “Pied de Baud” (Bois de Boursan also owns a parcel in Pied de Baud – it routinely is part of the “Cuvee Felix”) total 1.5 hectare and are comprised of 100% Grenache with an average age of 45 years. While they are nestled side by side, the two parcels are distinctly different: “Pied de Baud” has a sandy based soil, while “Cabriéres” is stonier, riddled with the larger galet stones for which Châteauneuf du Pape is known. Situated in the northern reaches of the appellation, these two sites are much cooler than the rest of the appellation, making a wine that is fresher and considerably less tannic.

The grapes for this wine are partially destemmed (about 50%) and are fermented in stainless steel tanks for about 30 days before the wine is pressed. The wine is then racked and aged in a combination of stainless steel and large oak barrels for 18 months before being assembled and bottled.

Download La-Manarine
Domaine NameDOMAINE LA MANARINE
Family/Owners NameGASQ Gilles
How many years has the family owned the domaine?The domain was created in 2001. 2001 was the first vintage commercialized by Rosenthal Wine Merchant sold this vintage
How many generations?I’m the first generation
How many hectares of vines are leased?3 hectares
How many hectares of vines are owned?33 hectares
Are your vineyards or wines Organic or Biodynamic Certified? If yes, in the EU? In the US? If no, are you in the process of becoming certified? When?Organic production since 2011
Describe your vineyard management practices (e.g. low-intervention, organic, biodynamic, standard, etc.).The vineyard is mainly driven by hand but some work are mechanized : -        We use machine with hydraulic undervine for the soil work
PLEASE ALSO ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING IN YOUR REPLY:Pruning, by hand
Do you do field work and harvest manually? By machine? By horse?Manual de-budding for all the vineyard every year
Do you practice green harvest? Leaf thinning?Leaf-thinning and green harvest if necessary
How do you fertilize?50 % harvest by hand and 50% by machine. -        Vegetal manure spread in January and February
Do you typically sell or buy any grapes? Please specify.No
Do you sell off any of your wine en vrac/allo sfuso?Yes, 30% every year for local negociants
WINE 1La Manarine rouge
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationAOC Côtes du Rhône
Cepage/Uvaggio100% Grenache noir
%ABVAlc 14 % BY VOL.
# of bottles produced60000
Grams of Residual Sugar< 2 gr./l.
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locationsLe Quartier. Le Paty
Exposures and slope of vineyardsNo slope
Soil Types(s)Clay-limestone with galets roulés
Average vine age (per vineyard)Between 20 and 40 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)4000 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)September 20 th
PLEASE SHARE ANY NOTES ABOUT HARVEST/GROWING SEASON FOR THIS WINE IN THIS VINTAGEMild and sometimes humid spring
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?Dry summer with high temperature during the day and cool temperature at night. Irregular pluviometry. Some storm from the August 15th with the presence of the « Mistral » Rainy Autumn (The reserves in waters are made in this period). Humid and cold winter with regular frosts until February
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmed100% destemmed
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeStainless steel tank and fiberglass
Duration of cuvaison20 days
Duration of contact with leesThe first "unrefined" lees are eliminated by racking after the end of the malcolactic fermentation then preservation on fine lees for 12 months with 2 racking per year.
Select or indigenous yeast?Indigenous yeasts
Please share notes about winemaking process for this wine. During the alcoholic fermentation I make 2 pumping-over with air per day
PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING, IF APPLICABLE:I make 2 rack and return. The first one at the beginning of the fermentation and the second when the specific gravity is about 1020 for a better extraction.
pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationI hold the temperature between 26 and 28°C (thanks to a cooling apparatus) for a better exchange between the must and the cap. During this period of maceration I make one pumping-over without air per day. Devatting after 3 weeks, pneumatic pressing. After a tasting, the juices from the press are blended, then malolactic fermentation. The first racking is done after the malolactic fermentation, and the next 2 racking during the year according to the tasting.
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Stainless steel and enamelled tanks
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US market3 months
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeNo
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?SO2 : When the grapes arrive : 7g/hl, After malolactic fermentation : 3g/hl, For the bottling : 25 to 28 mg/l free sulfur
PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS FINISHED WINE FROM THIS VINTAGE. HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?Vintage 2015: Very aromatic with “garrigue’ notes and ripe fruits. On the palate, soft tannins with aromatic persistency, well balanced. Lots of character and originality but still rustic.
WINE 2La Manarine rosé
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationAOC Côtes du Rhône
Cepage/Uvaggio50% Grenache noir 40% Mourvèdre 10% Syrah
%ABV13 % BY VOL.
# of bottles produced15000
Grams of Residual Sugar< 2 gr./l.
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locationsLe Quartier. Le Paty
Exposures and slope of vineyardsNo slope
Soil Types(s)Clay-limestone with galets roulés
Average vine age (per vineyard)20 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)4000 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)September 5 th
PLEASE SHARE ANY NOTES ABOUT HARVEST/GROWING SEASON FOR THIS WINE IN THIS VINTAGEMild and sometimes humid spring
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?Dry summer with high temperature during the day and cool temperature at night. Irregular pluviometry. Some storm from the August 15th with the presence of the « Mistral »Rainy Autumn (The reserves in waters are made in this period). Humid and cold winter with regular frosts until February
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmed100% destemmed, direct pressing
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeStainless steel tank
Duration of cuvaison20 days of fermentation
Duration of contact with leesThe first "unrefined" lees are eliminated by racking from the end of the alcoholic fermentation then preservation on fine lees for 5 months then racking
Select or indigenous yeast?Indigenous yeasts
Please share notes about winemaking process for this wine. Direct pneumatic pressing
PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING, IF APPLICABLE:Cold settling for 24 and 48 hours at 10 to 12°C
pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationAlcoholic fermentation between 18 and 20°C. We stopped the malolactic fermentation for sulphiting the wine. Racking after the end of the fermentation. Rest on fine lees for 5 months. The characteristic of this cuvee is her blending : -Grenache brings the body, the suppleness and the sweetness. -Mourvedre brings freshness thanks to his natural acidity (picked at under maturity). -Syrah brings the colour
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Stainless steel tank
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US market1 month
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeNo fining. Tangential filtration
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?SO2 : On the grapes : 7g/hl, After alcoholic fermentation : 3g/hl, For the bottling : 25 to 28 mg/l free sulfur
PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS FINISHED WINE FROM THIS VINTAGE. HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?Vintage 2016: Purple colour. Very aromatic with yellow flowers and citrus notes. Good freshness thanks to the natural acidity. On the palate, suppleness and sweetness what confers it a pleasure of tasting.
WINE 3La Manarine blanc
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationAOC Côtes du Rhône
Cepage/Uvaggio50% Clairette 50% Bourboulenc
%ABV13 % BY VOL.
# of bottles produced6000
Grams of Residual Sugar< 2 gr./l.
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locationsLe Quartier
Exposures and slope of vineyardsNo slope
Soil Types(s)Clay-limestone and “galets roulés”
Average vine age (per vineyard)20 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)4000 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)September 15 th
PLEASE SHARE ANY NOTES ABOUT HARVEST/GROWING SEASON FOR THIS WINE IN THIS VINTAGEMild and sometimes humid spring
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?Dry summer with high temperature during the day and cool temperature at night. Irregular pluviometry. Some storm from the August 15th with the presence of the « Mistral » Rainy Autumn (The reserves in waters are made in this period). Humid and cold winter with regular frosts until February
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmed100% destemmed, direct pressing
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeFermentation in stainless steel tank
Duration of cuvaisonFermentation for 20 days
Duration of contact with leesThe first "unrefined" lees are eliminated by racking from the end of the alcoholic fermentation then preservation on fine lees for 5 months then racking
Select or indigenous yeast?Indigenous yeasts
Please share notes about winemaking process for this wine. Direct pneumatic pressing
PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING, IF APPLICABLE:Cold settling between 10 to 12°C for 24 to 48 hours
pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationAlcoholic fermentation between 18 to 20°C. We stopped the malolactic fermentation for sulphiting the wine. Racking after the end of the fermentation. Rest on fine lees for 5 months. The characteristic of this cuvee is her blending : Clairette brings the flesh and the aromatic range. Bourboulenc is the backbone of the wine thanks to his natural acidity. Bourboulenc is adapt for the warm soil. 10% is vinified and aged in barrique (500L) for the complexity on the palate.
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Ageing in stainless steel tank
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US market1 month
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeNo fining. Tangential filtration
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?SO2 : When the grapes arrive : 7g/hl. After alcoholic fermentation : 3g/hl. For the bottling : 25 to 28 mg/l free sulfur
PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS FINISHED WINE FROM THIS VINTAGE. HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?Vintage 2016: Very aromatic, hint of citrus fruits (grapefruit). Freshness thanks to the natural acidity. Suppleness and character in the mouth.
WINE 4Le Carignan
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationVin de France
Cepage/Uvaggio100% Carignan
%ABV13 % BY VOL.
# of bottles produced15000
Grams of Residual Sugar< 2 gr./l.
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locationsAlcyon
Exposures and slope of vineyardsNo slope
Soil Types(s)Deep soils, clay-silt
Average vine age (per vineyard)35 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)4000 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)September 20 th
PLEASE SHARE ANY NOTES ABOUT HARVEST/GROWING SEASON FOR THIS WINE IN THIS VINTAGEMild and sometimes humid spring
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?Dry summer with high temperature during the day and cool temperature at night. Irregular pluviometry. Some storm from the August 15th with the presence of the « Mistral » Rainy Autumn (The reserves in waters are made in this period). Humid and cold winter with regular frosts until February.
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmed100% destemmed
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeStainless steel tank
Duration of cuvaison20 days
Duration of contact with leesThe first "unrefined" lees are eliminated by racking after the end of the malcolactic fermentation
Select or indigenous yeast?Indigenous yeasts
Please share notes about winemaking process for this wine. During the alcoholic fermentation I make 2 pumping-over with air per day
PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING, IF APPLICABLE:No rack and return to limit the extraction and keep the freshness and the aggressiveness.
pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationI hold the temperature between 26 and 28°C (thanks to a cooling apparatus) for a better exchange between the must and the cap. During this period of maceration I make one pumping-over with or without air per day (Carignan reduces rather fast). Devatting after 3 weeks, pneumatic pressing. After a tasting, the juices from the press are blended, then malolactic fermentation. The first racking is done after the malolactic fermentation, and the next 2 racking during the year according to the tasting.
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Ageing in stainless steel tank
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US market3 months
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeNo fining. Soft filtration with canister before bottling
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?SO2 :When the grapes arrive : 7g/hl. After malolactic fermentation : 3g/hl. For the bottling : 25 to 28 mg/l free sulfur
PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS FINISHED WINE FROM THIS VINTAGE. HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?Carignan 2015 : The nose is powerful with undergrowth notes and garrigue. Good aromatic persistency and freshness on the palate .
WINE 5Les Terres Saintes
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationAOC Côtes du Rhône Village Plan de Dieu
Cepage/Uvaggio80% Grenache 20% Syrah
%ABV14,5 % BY VOL.
# of bottles produced15000
Grams of Residual Sugar< 2 gr./l.
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locationsVelage
Exposures and slope of vineyardsNo slope
Soil Types(s)Deep soils, red clay, galets roulés
Average vine age (per vineyard)45 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)4000 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)September 25 th
PLEASE SHARE ANY NOTES ABOUT HARVEST/GROWING SEASON FOR THIS WINE IN THIS VINTAGEMild and sometimes humid spring
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?Dry summer with high temperature during the day and cool temperature at night. Irregular pluviometry. Some storm from the August 15th with the presence of the « Mistral ». Rainy Autumn (The reserves in waters are made in this period). Humid and cold winter with regular frosts until February
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmed100% destemmed
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeStainless steel tank
Duration of cuvaison30 days
Duration of contact with leesThe first "unrefined" lees are eliminated by racking after the end of the malcolactic fermentation
Select or indigenous yeast?Indigenous yeasts
Please share notes about winemaking process for this wine. During the alcoholic fermentation I make 2 pumping-over with air per day
PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING, IF APPLICABLE:I make 2 rack and return. The first one at the beginning of the fermentation and the second when the specific gravity is about 1020 for a better extraction.
pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationI hold the temperature between 26 and 28°C (thanks to a cooling apparatus) for a better exchange between the must and the cap. During this period of maceration I make one pumping-over with air and an other one without air per day. Oxygen is important to stabilize colouring matters. Devatting after 3 or 4 weeks, pneumatic pressing. After a tasting, the juices from the press are blended, then malolactic fermentation. The first racking is done after the malolactic fermentation, and the next 2 racking during the year according to the tasting.
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)20% are ageing in big barrel of 5 wines for 12 months and the other part in stainless steel tank
Duration of bottle ageing 3 months
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please No
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?SO2 : When the grapes arrive : 7g/hl. After malolactic fermentation : 3g/hl. For the bottling : 25 to 28 mg/l free sulfur
PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS FINISHED WINE FROM THIS VINTAGE. HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?Terres Saintes 2014 : Deep color. The nose is complex with black fruits and garrigue notes. On the palate, rich and soft tannins, sweetness thanks to the Grenache. Well structured
WINE 6Châteauneuf du Pape
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationAOC Châteauneuf du Pape
Cepage/Uvaggio100% Grenache
%ABV14,5 % BY VOL.
# of bottles produced7000
Grams of Residual Sugar< 2 gr./l.
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locationsCabrières. Pied de Baud
Exposures and slope of vineyardsNo slope
Soil Types(s)Silt and “Galet roulés” for Pied de Baud. Deep soil for Cabrières with black clay
Average vine age (per vineyard)45 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)4000 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)October 1 st
PLEASE SHARE ANY NOTES ABOUT HARVEST/GROWING SEASON FOR THIS WINE IN THIS VINTAGEMild and sometimes humid spring
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?Dry summer with high temperature during the day and cool temperature at night. Irregular pluviometry. Some storm from the August 15th with the presence of the « Mistral ». Rainy Autumn (The reserves in waters are made in this period). Humid and cold winter with regular frosts until February.
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmed50% destemmed
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeFermentation in stainless steel tank
Duration of cuvaison30 days
Duration of contact with leesThe first "unrefined" lees are eliminated by racking from after the malolactic fermentation
Select or indigenous yeast?Indigenous yeasts
Please share notes about winemaking process for this wine. During the alcoholic and malolactic fermentation : 2 pumping-over with air per day
PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING, IF APPLICABLE:During the maceration : one pumping-over with air and one with not air because the oxygen is important to fix the colouring substances.
pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationDevatting after 4 weeks, pneumatic pressing. The pressed musts are blended after a tasting, malolactic fermentation, then 2 or 3 rackings depend to the tasting
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Ageing in stainless steel tank. 20% are aged in big barrel of 5 wines, for 18 months
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US market3 months
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeNo
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?SO2 : When the grapes arrive : 7g/hl.After malolactic fermentation : 3g/hl. For the bottling : 25 to 28 mg/l free sulfur
PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS FINISHED WINE FROM THIS VINTAGE. HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?Deep colour, beautiful nose with aromatic complexity of black fruits, licorice and cinnamon. On the palate, very structured wine with rich and soft tannins. The minerality is brought from the Grenache ( north of the appellation)

Rosé Offering: Spring 2020

PROVENCE

Commanderie de Peyrassol
Our longstanding partnership with the Commanderie de Peyrassol provides us with our most plentiful source of classically rendered Provence rosés—wines which the market justifiably awaits eagerly as warmer weather draws nearer. The 2019 growing season saddled Peyrassol with high temperatures and dry conditions—factors increasingly becoming the “new normal” in a post-climate-change France—but a bit of well-timed gentle rainfall during harvest brought welcome balance to the fruit and neutralized the looming threat of heavy, hydric-stress-affected rosés. Varieties and parcels at Peyrassol are all vinified individually, which allows the estate great flexibility in the blending of their various cuvées. Indeed, one of the most remarkable things about the range of rosés at Peyrassol is how well-measured and notable the “steps up the ladder” are in the lineup. The wines do not get more boisterous or rich as one climbs; rather, they become more filigree, detailed, and fine—each progressive rung a further zoom-in on a sort of Platonic ideal of Provence rosé. This collection of 2019s sees Peyrassol firing on all cylinders in a vintage exceedingly favorable to their style of wine.

2019 “La Croix” IGP Méditerranée Rosé
Produced from roughly equal parts Grenache and Cinsault, plus a splash of Rolle (Vermentino), the 2019 “La Croix” blends 50% estate holdings with fruit sourced from the Côtes de Provence as well as further north toward Mont Sainte-Victoire. An exemplar of Peyrassol’s blending acumen, it offers the precision and elegance that characterizes all the estate’s rosés, albeit in a more direct, fruit-forward manner than its stablemates below.

2019 “Cuvée de la Commanderie” Côtes de Provence Rosé
Peyrassol’s perennial workhorse hits a bullseye in 2019. Comprising 30% each Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah, with small amounts of Tibouren and Mourvèdre completing the blend, the beloved “Commanderie” offers the tension, salinity, and crystalline fruit that characterize this wine every year, with greater lift than the 2018 and a vinous core that does nothing to detract from the wine’s breezy deliciousness. This cuvée blends 70% estate-grown fruit with 30% purchased from several growers in nearby Flassans-sur-Isole with whom Peyrassol has multi-year contracts; Peyrassol’s team oversees the harvest and vinification of these sources.

2019 “Château Peyrassol” Côtes de Provence Rosé
Produced entirely from fruit grown on the estate, the 2019 “Château Peyrassol” is no weightier than the “Commanderie” above, differentiating itself instead through more marked salinity and greater palate persistence. It seamlessly interweaves taut, bright red fruit and vivacious acidity into a texture both cool and layered, and its overall personality is slightly lighter and more focused than that of the 2018. The 2019 is comprised of 65% Cinsault, 30% Grenache, and 5% each Tibouren and Mourvèdre.

2019 “Le Clos Peyrassol” Côtes de Provence Rosé
Taking the crystalline focus of the “Château” above even further, the 2019 “Le Clos” is stupendous in its textural elegance and purity of fruit. It combines roughly equal parts Tibouren, Grenache, and Cinsault from the most favorably situated section within Peyrassol’s holdings, and this 2019 sees the estate experimenting in the cellar to great effect: 20% of the wine was vinified and aged in 10-hectoliter terracotta jars, which contribute a texturally caressing quality to the final blend without sacrificing its sense of laser-like precision.

Domaine du Bagnol

2019 Cassis Rosé
The dynamic Sébastien Genovesi describes 2019 as a beautiful harvest, one for which a sorting table was virtually unnecessary, and his family’s domaine produced 15% more wine than in the similarly warm and dry 2018. Domaine du Bagnol’s rigorous vineyard practices (organic-certified since 2014) and careful, precise cellar work have resulted in wines of increased harmony and complexity with each passing year, and this vintage of their Cassis Rosé represents a new pinnacle for a justly beloved cuvée. Comprising 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, and 20% Mourvèdre, the rose-petal-colored 2019 was pressed directly and rapidly (in under two hours) to extract as little color as possible, and the bottled wine contains only 20 milligrams per liter of total sulfur—a factor which contributes to its gorgeous purity of texture and precise, intense evocation of limestone soil.

Château Pradeaux
Ninth-generation Etienne Portalis displays ever-greater confidence and mastery of craft with each vintage, and his rosés reach new heights with the below range of 2019s. Employing only spontaneous fermentations and using a variety of casks for vinification and aging (cement, steel, foudre), Etienne produces rosés of vinous complexity and impressive concentration, all with an evocative salinity at their core. These are wines which justify Bandol’s lofty reputation near the top of the rosé genre, while simultaneously reinforcing Pradeaux’s peerless position within this singular seaside appellation. Etienne began harvesting on September 20th under warm, dry conditions, but the overall year’s water supply was greater than in 2018, resulting in rosés of riveting acidity and excellent balance. As is ever the case, these rosés will drink great young but will amply reward cellaring as well.

2019 Côtes de Provence Rosé
The 2019 Pradeaux Côtes de Provence Rosé carries less Mourvèdre than last year’s: 65% (compared to 75% in the 2018), with 25% Cinsault and 10% Grenache completing the blend. Etienne remarks that the lower proportion of Mourvèdre makes the wine saltier, and indeed this vintage offers a mouthwatering, acid-driven palate of intense mineral cling, with honest, non-confected flavors of dried strawberries and Provençal herbs. Vinified and aged entirely in steel, this wine comes within striking distance of the Bandol in its complexity, yet is brisker and lighter on its feet overall.

2019 Bandol Rosé
As the last bastion of ultra-traditional Bandol, Château Pradeaux never allocates more than 30% of its total harvest toward rosé, even as other growers in the appellation convert ever-greater proportions of their production to pink in order to satisfy the demands of the market. The Bandol Rosé they do produce is a standard-bearer, always among the most magisterial rosés in all of France and a fixture of our portfolio for nearly four decades. Comprising equal proportions of Mourvèdre and Cinsault, the 2019 clocks in at 14.1% alcohol but bears not a trace of heat, instead offering a freshness exceeding that of the quite rich 2018. Jellied quince, crunchy melon, and guava vie for attention with the wine’s turbo-charged chalky core and sizzling acid profile, and an overall sense of intense concentration bodes well for its future development.

2018 “Vesprée” Vin de France
With the 2016 vintage, Etienne began producing “Vesprée”—a rosé of pure Mourvedre from among his oldest vines (60 to 70 years old), vinified and aged partly in cement egg and partly in 600-liter demi-muid. The wine spends ample time on its lees without being racked, and is bottled just before the following harvest rather than early in the year like most rosés—hence the arrival of the 2018 vintage this season. Both saltier and richer than the flagship Bandol Rosé, “Vesprée” (named after the appearance of the sun’s fading rays as dusk approaches) follows the inherent seriousness of the category to a further extreme, yet it remains lively, focused, and Provençal to its core. Despite its deeply imbedded sense of classicism, however, the wine often provokes accusations of atypicality from the woefully conservative appellation authorities, and indeed this stunning 2018 bears a Vin de France designation.

Château Simone – Palette

2018 Palette Rosé [available now]
Château Simone’s legendary Palette Rosé makes a legitimate claim as perhaps the greatest rosé in all of France, and, as is the case with their white and red wines, there is certainly nothing else quite like it. Built on the backs of Grenache and Mourvèdre, with smaller amounts of Cinsault, Syrah, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Castet, Manosquin, Théoulier, Tibouren, Picpoul Noir, and Muscat de Hambourg, Simone Rosé is produced from a blend of equal parts direct-press and saignée juice. Whereas much commercial-minded rosé is fermented with artificial yeasts and rushed into bottle well before spring’s first shoots emerge, Château Simone’s spends nearly a full year (hence the 2018 vintage here) in old foudres resting on its lees and gaining remarkable depth, with sulfur applied only at the moment of bottling. Sumptuous and utterly seamless in its texture, this 2018 bastes the palate with savory red fruits and delivers an almost viscous impression of concentration. As with all vintages of this wine, it will doubtlessly develop beautifully in bottle for well over a decade.

Bastide du Claux

2019 Luberon Rosé “Poudrière”
It’s an unlikely story: the heir to an enviable share of holdings in Chassagne-Montrachet ends up unlocking the potential of an appellation in northern Provence known more for bulk wine than nuanced expressions of terroir—yet that is precisely what we’re seeing as Sylvain Morey continues to improve and evolve at Bastide du Claux, his outpost in the Luberon which he acquired in the early 2000s. Sylvain is currently undergoing organic certification, which he will obtain in 2021 (though he has been practicing since 2015), and his commitment to harvesting by hand, fermenting without additions, and tailoring blending and élévage to the characteristics of each harvest results in wines of striking depth and purity. The 2019 “Poudrière” blends 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 20% Cinsault, with the Syrah and part of the Grenache pressed directly, and the Cinsault and the other part of the Grenache bled off. With flavors of black cherries and peach skins, it presents mouthwatering textural tension and an underlying sense of minerality, as well as an unforced vinosity that shames many of its confected Provençal cousins from more market-friendly area codes.

RHÔNE VALLEY

Domaine La Manarine

2019 Côtes-du-Rhône Rosé
Gilles Gasq has had an impressive run lately, having begun producing a dynamite Châteauneuf-du-Pape in addition to his always-reliable offerings from the Côtes-du-Rhône and the Plan de Dieu. His 2019 Rosé, comprising 50% Grenache, 40% Mourvèdre, and 10% Syrah, was produced solely via direct-press and aged in stainless steel on its fine lees for several months before bottling. Sprightlier and more linear than its 2018 counterpart, it offers bright, friendly strawberry fruit, gentle but well-measured acidity, and an underlying freshness not often found in the rosés of the southern Rhône. The domaine has been certified organic for nearly a decade at this point, and the already-expert Gilles continues to hone his approach to great effect.

Château Valcombe

2019 Ventoux Rosé “Epicure”
After a brutal 2018 vintage in which Luc Guenard suffered a massive reduction in crop size, 2019’s relative bounty was a particularly welcome blessing. Steadfastly organic in his viticultural practices, Guenard reported remarkably clean and healthy fruit in 2019, and for the first time ever he added no sulfur whatsoever to the grapes at harvest time. Composed of one-third each Cinsault, Grenache, and Syrah, and produced via direct press, “Epicure” is vinified and aged in cement and given only a very light filtration at bottling. This 2019 is vivid in its fruit profile, with flavors of melon and cherry framing a ripe, round texture that nonetheless displays a refreshing and acid-driven sense of lift.

Domaine de Fenouillet

2019 Ventoux Rosé
The rock-steady Soard brothers produced a remarkable version of their Ventoux Rosé in the 2019 vintage, a season which offered a similarly warm and dry character to 2018 but without that summer’s overwhelming hydric stress. Composed of 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 15% Mourvèdre, and 5% Carignan, and produced solely via direct press, this 2019 offers perkier acidity and an overall greater sense of energy than the 2018, with a sense of well-judged restraint that characterizes all the domaine’s wines. Fenouillet has been certified organic since the 2012 vintage, a fact which shows in this rosé’s vibrancy and vividness of fruit.

Domaine Gour de Chaulé

2019 Gigondas Rosé “Amour de Rose”
Our stalwart source of great Gigondas for nearly forty years, Gour de Chaulé is undergoing an exciting period, with Stephanie Fumoso’s intelligent and passionate young son Paul having recently joined the domaine full-time. Comprising 40% Grenache, 40% Cinsault, and 20% Mourvèdre, their 2019 Gigondas Rosé clocks in at 14.5% alcohol, but this lofty level belies the wine’s sense of harmony and freshness. Whereas the wine in times past was produced purely from saignée, Stephanie began incorporating a proportion of directly pressed juice some years back, and for the past few years it has been made exclusively via the direct-press method. Furthermore, Stephanie and Paul harvest those plots destined for their rosé earlier than those for their red—and always early in the morning in order to preserve freshness and minimize the use of sulfur at the time of picking.

Yves Cuilleron

2019 Syrah Rosé “Sybel” IGP Collines Rhodaniennes
The immensely talented Yves Cuilleron has amassed a towering reputation over his 33-year career for rendering northern Rhône wines of typicity, depth, and pleasure. Tucked among his formidable and expansive lineup is “Sybel”—a rosé of pure hand-harvested Syrah produced from the bled-off juice of his many cuvées, fermented spontaneously and aged in a combination of steel and large wood. Both easygoing and surprisingly terroir-expressive, it is a rosé that could come from nowhere but the northern Rhône, and it represents remarkable value year-in and year-out.

LANGUEDOC

Domaine Faillenc Sainte Marie

2019 Corbières Rosé “Rosé des Glacières”
For the even-keeled and remarkably kind Jean-Baptiste Gibert, 2019 was an even drier year overall than 2018—a not-insignificant fact given the already inherently rugged and rain-starved climate of Corbières. With assistance from some well-timed rainfall in August and early September, however,  Gibert’s organically tended vineyards yielded a relatively large crop of impeccable fruit in 2019. His always unique “Rosé des Glacières”—pure saignée Syrah from vines up to 40 years old—offers more freshness than a typical vintage, with a drier impression overall (its 1.5 grams per liter of residual sugar are undetectable). Flavors of macerated strawberries and Provençal garrigue spread generously over the palate, given definition by tangy but supple acidity and an appealing undertone of gentle bitterness.

BORDEAUX

Château La Rame

2019 Bordeaux Rosé
Husband and wife Olivier Allo and Angelique Armand produce an impressive range from their estate’s holdings in and around Sainte-Croix-du-Mont—a zone historically coveted for its finely wrought botrytised sweet wines but capable of producing excellent dry wines as well. Their restrained, beautifully balanced Bordeaux Rosé blends equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and is produced solely via direct pressing. In keeping with its vintage-mates across France, this 2019 is lighter in color and in spirit than the 2018, both fully ripe and delicately pretty, and with a clear, focused line of acidity.

Le Puy

2018 “Rose-Marie” Vin de France [available now]
Like all of this enigmatic and iconic estate’s wines, Le Puy’s “Rose-Marie” is a true outlier. Since the 2006 harvest, the Amoreau family has bottled a rosé of pure Merlot from the bled-off juice of a single vat of “Barthélemy”—the wine they produce from their highest-altitude and most prized vineyard. “Rose-Marie” is aged in old barrels without the addition of yeasts, sulfur, or, for that matter, anything at all. The results are startling in their purity and frankness, with unmediated flavors of herb-tinged red fruits wed to a riveting acidity and a powerful underlying sense of chalk (Barthélemy has less than a foot of topsoil atop its mother-rock of solid Astrée limestone). Rare and delicious, “Rose-Marie” is produced in minuscule quantities and is only available sporadically; it is a wine that will challenge one’s notion of what rosé can be, and in the best and most satisfying way imaginable.

LOIRE VALLEY

Château Soucherie

2019 Rosé de Loire “Astrée”
2019 marks the first vintage from flowering to harvest for Soucherie’s new chef de cave Vianney de Tastes, whose skilled, delicate touch resulted in a rosé of excellent poise. Produced entirely from direct-press Gamay planted in the Astrée vineyard—a departure from the Grolleau-Gamay blend of the previous vintage—this 2019 Rosé de Loire is ethereally pale, pouring a glinting light-copper in the glass. The palate continues the theme, with vivacious acidity and a captivating combination of serenity and energy; one gets all the prettiness of Gamay without any of the excess roundness to which it is sometimes prone. Notably, the entire 6,000-bottle production of the 2019 was allotted to Rosenthal Wine Merchant, and we couldn’t be happier with the quality and value this exemplary rosé provides.

Philippe Gilbert

2019 Menetou-Salon Rosé
With each passing vintage, Philippe Gilbert cements his position at the vanguard of this eastern Loire appellation. His steadfast commitment to biodynamics (he was the first in Menetou-Salon to adopt the practice), his refusal to machine-harvest, and his minimal intervention in vinification and aging result in wines of energy, clarity, and visceral exuberance. Philippe’s ever-delightful rosé shines in 2019—a season which, like 2018, was overwhelmingly hot and dry, but which produced wines of greater equilibrium and drive. Produced from directly pressed Pinot Noir and aged on its lees in stainless steel, the 2019 carries an undetectable 1.9 grams per liter of residual sugar and clocks in at 13.4% alcohol. It offers a very pure expression of calcareous minerality, with delicate but juicy cherry fruit and a soaring but well-integrated acidity.

Lucien Crochet

2019 Sancerre Rosé
Gilles Crochet reported a particularly small Pinot Noir harvest in 2019—about half of a normal yield—due to an unusually intense late-summer heat wave which grilled a portion of bunches not shielded by leaf cover. Despite a warm and dry season, however, the 2019 Sancerre Rosé displays the rapier-like precision and scintillating minerality for which the estate is renowned, albeit with a subtle wink toward Pinot Noir succulence which cooler vintages often lack. Produced entirely from hand-harvested direct-press Pinot Noir, it spends several months on its fine lees in stainless steel before bottling, and develops interestingly in bottle for several years past vintage.

2018 Rosé Field Report

The story throughout the south of France for the 2018 growing season was similar: an inordinate amount of rainfall from February through June engendered a rash of mildew that had growers scrambling, treating between five and ten times as much as usual in many instances. The weather pulled an immediate about-face in July, turning remarkably hot and remarkably dry—conditions which persisted until harvest. This whiplash effect stressed both vines and vignerons, to be sure, but happily the quality of the rosés from Provence is generally outstanding in 2018. The higher amount of rainfall led to rosés not burdened by unwelcome heaviness due to hyper-low yields, but the dryness of the latter part of the growing season prevented a sense of dilution in the final wines. In general, the 2018 rosés from the south of France display impeccable balance, superb drinkability, and a streak of classicism that sets them above the 2017s.

Summary of Grower Visits – Part IV

More commentary on the visits Michael and I made to the growers between Oct 16 and Oct 23 …

DOMAINE DU GOUR DE CHAULE: Harvest in 2018 started on 13 Sept for the Rosé and then proceeded in stages of 3 to4 days as the vineyards ripened in an irregular, and different, pace …