In addition to the traditional and classified grape varieties of the AOC Côtes de Provence (Syrah, Grenache Noir, Cinsault, and Rolle) we grow four classic Bordeaux grape varieties inherited from the former owners of the estate: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. In addition we recently planted some Viognier. All "first class" grape varieties that we blend into our AOP (Cabernet Sauvignon) and IGP Vins de Pays des Maures (Vins de Pays des Maures).
Along with Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir, Syrah belongs to the quartet of noble red grapes. A rare grape variety thriving in dry and arid soil. Syrah is known as "the grape" of the Rhône, famous for its mature and tannic Croze Hermitage and Côte Rôtie wines. Medium-sized, compact grapes with cylindrical shapes bear fruits rich in color with balanced, powerful and velvety tannins. Their aromatic range is impressive with smoky and peppery notes, violet, plum, blackberry and blueberry.
According to legend, Syrah was brought back to Europe in 1224 on the return from a crusade to the Iranian city of Shiraz. The analysis of its DNA in 1998, however, proved that it originated from a cross between the French grape varieties Bureza and Mondeuse Blanche. Syrah has recently become very popular, not only in France where more than 45,000 hectares are dedicated to it. It has been very successful in Australia with its famous full-bodied and fruity Shiraz, and continues its triumphant conquest in California, Chile and South Africa. Like few other red grapes, Syrah reflects through its aromas the quality and richness of its terroir.
A sweet grape variety with a thin skin, Grenache Noir offers a clear red wine of character. Originally from the ancient kingdom of Aragon and very present in Rioja, Garnacha Tinta is the most important grape variety cultivated in Spain. Considered one of the most widespread varieties in the vineyards of the south of France with a surface area of almost 100,000 ha, it is found in the many appellations along the Mediterranean coast. It also represents nearly 70% of the total surface area of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It prefers stony, hot and arid soils, as well as a very dry environment, producing wines that can be kept for a long time. Sensitive to disease, the windy climate is beneficial to it.
Fruity and full-bodied, wines made from Grenache develop aromas of white pepper, black olive, rosemary, red fruit and plum in the mouth. As they age, they evolve towards mocha, chocolate or tobacco. Because of its high sugar content, Grenache is used to produce sweet natural wines such as those from Banyuls, near the French-Spanish border. Grenache is a perfect blend with Syrah.
Le Cinsault is a black grape variety producing a fine white juice, probably originating from Provence. It prefers poor soils for quality production. Cinsault is used for Châteauneuf du Pape, Côtes du Rhône, Tavel, Lira, Minervois and Côtes de Provence red and rosé wines. Cinsault only accounts for 30,000 ha in France and about 45,000 ha worldwide. It is a tardy grape variety that needs sunshine and resists drought. Cinsault produces quite well but is fragile when it comes to diseases. It grows on arid and dry soils.
Its bunches are large, composed of large berries with very juicy flesh. Sweet and slightly acidic, this succulent and dense grape is perfect for summer rosés with its peach, raspberry and strawberry aromas. Blended with Grenache and Syrah, it offers typical reds compensating for the intensity of the Syrah color and the alcohol content of the Grenache, favouring a soft and harmonious blend.
With its thick skin and numerous pips, the Cabernet Sauvignon variety may at first glance seem hard and unattractive. Yet it is considered the star of the wine world with its aromatic complexity, high concentration of tannin and pigments, and exceptional ageing potential. No less than 170,000 hectares are devoted to it from Moldova to South Africa. In 1997, an analysis of its DNA carried out by the famous Davis Wine University in California revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon is the result of a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.
It needs warm soils to reach a perfect degree of maturity. Characterised by aromas of green pepper, blackcurrant, leather, cedar, spices and dark chocolate, it is blended with the fruity Merlot or Cabernet Franc to achieve its best expression.
Cabernet Franc is the noblest red variety of the Pays de Loire. Particularly in Bourgueil and Chinon where it has been highly appreciated since the time of Rabelais, as much for its raspberry, blackcurrant and liquorice aromas as for its balanced structure with fine, smooth tannins. With the almost extinct variety of the Magdeleine Noire des Charentes, the Cabernet Franc is related to the Merlot. Its velvety more fine tannins make the wines more attractive than those of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Today, also highly appreciated, Cabernet Franc only plays a minor role in Bordeaux and the South of France. Of course with the exception of the famous Château Cheval Blanc, where the percentage of Cabernet Franc is close to 60%. Cabernet Franc is also grown in northern Italy, Australia, California and New Zealand and appreciated for its ability to age well.
Having become one of the most popular grapes throughout the world in the 20th century, Merlot is perfectly adapted to very different soils and climatic conditions. With around 100,000 hectares in France and 100,000 worldwide in Australia, California and Ticino, this grape variety is at the top of the list of the world's wine-growing areas. Resistant, it thrives on deep and cold soils such as in the Bordeaux region in Pomerol and Saint-Emilion.
Its sweet, full-bodied wines are known for their beautiful deep red colour and their variety of aromas with notes of slightly spicy red fruit and plum, with a soft, strong structure and silky tannins.
Cultivated mainly in Provence, Italy and Corsica on 7000 ha, Rolle is one of the most sophisticated varieties of white in the Mediterranean. Probably derived from a variety of Malvasia originating from Madeira (malvasia) which transited through Spain before arriving in Corsica, it was transported to Italy via Liguria in the 14th century. In Corsica, it is called Vermentinu, and in Italy Vermentino, giving full-bodied, highly aromatic wines with aromas of fruit, flowers, melon, aniseed or even mimosa.
In our Provence terroirs, these wines develop notes of citrus fruit, green apple, fresh pear and lime wood. Delicious as table grapes, these wines go wonderfully with Mediterranean cuisine and grilled fish.
This ancient grape variety has had an eventful history, full of twists and turns, to the point where it almost disappeared... Originally, Viognier was grown exclusively in the northern Côtes du Rhône, from Vienne to Valence. Originally part of the grape varieties of the Condrieu, Château Grillet and Côte Rôtie appellations, it has become one of the most popular grape varieties in California and Australia, in many Portuguese wine regions and in southern France.
Viognier is characterised as much by its rarity as by its great finesse and complexity of its aromas, so moving that they escape description: honeysuckle, lime, apricot, quince, almond blossom, spices, dried fruit, hawthorn blossom, iris, gingerbread, mango, tobacco, acacia honey with a touch of musk, mineral, peach, violet and lime blossom...Very fragrant, the Viognier wine is extraordinarily fat, supple not to say unctuous. It does not tolerate oxidation.
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