Provence – A day for 3 Chateaux ….
CHATEAU SIMONE: what a lovely estate! Each time I visit (and, remember my first visit with the Rougier family was in 1981) I remain impressed by the impeccable grounds, the perfectly maintained cellar and ultimately the consistently excellent and idiosyncratic wines. It does baffle me occasionally that this one-of-a-kind domaine has not developed the ultra-fanatic following it deserves. Well, I/we are super-dedicated!
This time around, we tasted through a trio of Grands Carmes whites … 2015, 16, 17. A blend of Clairette, Ugni Blanc and Viognier, this wine is intriguing. I recently posted a comment on our pleasure drinking the 2014 vintage at our table at home and the following vintages impress as well. The 2015 is quite dense and rich, from a powerful, ripe vintage; the 2016 has a striking freshness, is less dense and presents with a more mineral character; the 2017, a bit young to judge, lies somewhere between the two preceding vintages. Wines that deserve engagement on our part.
The full-blooded Chateau Simone Blanc 2015 is a formidable wine. Very rich with great length on the palate. Typically tonic with a background of citrus fruits and pine. Certainly destined to be one of the best Simone Blancs!
The Chateau Simone Rosé 2017, to arrive in early 2019 with the next vintage of white and red, is as always on the cusp between a red and rosé. Redolent with ripe strawberries, filigreed with lacy tannins on the palate, this is an exceptional wine that is outside of category.
The Chateau Simone Rouge 2014 is open-knit, spicy with red and black fruits playing sympathetically one with the other. Most likely offering an earlier entry than preceding vintages and certainly a fine companion at the table for a myriad of dishes from grilled red meats to a mushroom casserole. A wine that will be underestimated for sure.
CHATEAU PRADEAUX: If Simone is dressed like royalty, Pradeaux presents like the rowdy revolutionary. Yet, both domaines share a distinguished history and are immensely similar in their undying commitment to tradition. It is a blessing and matter of great pride that these two estates are part of the RWM portfolio.
A quick take on the upcoming Pradeaux vintages in red:
2014: a difficult vintage with lots of rain during harvest; a more fluid, less ferociously tannic vintage; will make it even more pleasant to offer this to the marketplace in its youth. Don’t be deceived though, it is all relative; this still bears the mark of undestemmed Mourvèdre.
2015: a classic Pradeaux in structure and profile with its leathery character and strong backbone. Very fine !
2016: the next GREAT Pradeaux! Powerful, large, boisterously tannic, this is a tour-de-force. Definitely will need the extra years of élevage.
2017: a pretty vintage for Pradeaux, round, relatively supple, beautiful robe.
SURPRISE: a few new foudres have made their way into the Pradeaux cellar.
A brief on Chateau Peyrassol will follow soon.