SOUTHERN FRANCE’S NEXT GENERATION

14 Apr SOUTHERN FRANCE’S NEXT GENERATION

NOTES:

While our flagship Provence rosé from Saint Tropez, Château de Pampelonne, is quite popular in New York, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles, it’s clear that some of our distributors are still a little shy about the $108/case FOB, opting instead to focus on our less expensive rosés.  We would like to change this.  In order to facilitate a $160/case wholesale price and $19.99/bottle retail price in most markets, we’ll offer both Château de Pampelonne and our other $108/case FOB rosé, the certified organic Domaine d’Eole from Côteaux d’Aix for $102/case FOB NJ when our new container arrives week of April 11.  Only stipulation is that orders must be for minimum of 28 cases.  2% sample allowance still applies.  Château de Pampelonne or “Pampy” as it’s known here in NY, is the most respected producer on the Saint Tropez peninsula and boasts a list of U.S. customers that includes Zachy’s and some of the best restaurants in New York.

Our two late-bottled rosés, Château Salettes Bandol and Château de Pampelonne Légende are on the same container due into Port of NY/NJ on April 11.  While these two wines are the most expensive of our selection, they were the two stars of the Regal Pink Party in New York on March 9.  I would highy recommend reserving quantities of the rosés coming in on next week’s container.

We did not aggressively market the Gigondas and Vacqyeyras wines of Domaine D’Ouréa in our first year working with Adrien Roustan as his 2013 harvest was tiny.  We will, however, be picking up the first shipment of his 2014 Vacqueyras and Gigondas this month so we have scheduled Adrien for a two-city U.S. visit in May with Alex Le Corguillé of  Château Salettes.  Info below on our two youngest vignerons.

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INTRODUCING DOMAINE D’OURÉA

29 year-old Adrien Roustan launched Domaine d’Ouréa in 2010 after three years of viticulture/oenology studies in Burgundy. His modest winery sits amid the domaine’s nine hectares of vines in Vacqueyras but it’s his family’s high-elevation Gigondas plots that were the inspiration for the domaine name. In Greek mythology, the Ourea were the offspring of the goddess Gaia (Mother Earth). They were the gods of the mountains. As you can see in the photo above, Adrien’s vines climb nearly to the top of the Dentelles de Montmirail.

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2013 DOMAINE D’OUREA VACQUEYRAS

Grenache yields were tiny in 2013 due to severe shatter (coulure) in early spring so the encépagement includes a little more Syrah than usual, but the results were beautiful.  Adrien tends just over 22 acres of Vacq vines surrounding his winery that were planted in 1950. All of Domaine d’Ouréa’s vineyards are certified organic by Ecocert and Adrien is experimenting with biodynamic practices.

60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Carignan

2013 Vacqueyras $162/case FOB NJ

2013 DOMAINE D’OUREA GIGONDAS

Adrien makes this wine from 11 acres of south-facing parcels with elevations from 400 meters to 520 meters (see photo above).  Although yields are tiny, he loves the finesse he gets from the highest elevation vines in the appellation planted on the heights of the Dentelles de Montmirail in 1975.  Certified organic, of course.

80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Cinsault

2013 Gigondas $198/case FOB NJ

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2014 DOMAINE D’OUREA
TIRE BOUCHON VIN DE FRANCE

‘Cork-puller’ (Tire Bouchon) is a great name for this fun, throwback Rhône that your customers will, no doubt, find easy to throw back.  The old-vine Aramon Noir and Oeillade Noire planted (but not INAO approved) within the Vacqueyras appellation really set this wine apart from the sea of Côtes du Rhône on the market these days.

60% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Carignan, 10% Aramon Noir, 10% Oeillade Noire

2014 Tire Bouchon $78/case FOB NJ

CHÂTEAU SALETTES, BANDOL

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Château Salettes is situated on the Mediterranean coast between Toulon and Marseille at the foot of the hilltop village of La Cadière d’Azur. The vineyard is planted on a gentle slope overlooking the azure waters of the Golfe de Saint-Cyr-les-Lecques, ideal for the estate’s prized Mourvèdre vines to soak up Bandol’s abundant sunshine. As the appellation’s signature grape, Mourvèdre constitutes 50% of Château Salettes’ plantings.

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For 35 years, Jean-Pierre Boyer directed this beautiful 120-acre estate before handing over the reins to his son Nicolas at the turn of the millennium. The dynamic and charismatic Nicolas became the 17th generation of the Ricard-Boyer family to oversee the domaine. Under Nicolas’ direction, an ambitious and costly, ten-year expansion project was undertaken that included modernization of Salette’s 17th century cellar and the removal of enormous slabs of rock from potentially great vineyard plots. Sadly, as Nicolas’ vision was becoming reality, he lost his courageous, two-year battle with cancer. Since Nicolas’ passing in 2011, his father has resumed stewardship of the family business and today, with the help of talented, young University of Montpellier oenologist, Alexandre Le Corguillé, Jean-Pierre continues to make the upgrades necessary to ensure that Château Salettes is still a leading Bandol estate when Nicolas’ young son (also named Alex), the 18th generation, is ready to take over.

unnamed-5Since his arrival at this venerable estate in 2011, 33-year-old Director/Winemaker Alexandre Le Corguillé has expanded Salettes’ popularity beyond Provence and the Côte d’Azur. Alex’s Université de Montpellier grasp of tannin management would be appreciated by UC Davis contemporaries and I’m guessing his voluptuous, early-maturing red wines are generating as much discussion between father and son at some of the “old school” Bandol estates as they are among wine critics. We are delighted by the renewed commitment of owner Jean-Pierre Boyer, and the organic direction Monsieur Le Corguillé has taken the estate (now in final year of Ecocert certification process).  We are extremely confident that Château Salettes’ place among the appellation’s top domaines is rock solid.

MORE GOLD FOR CHÂTEAU SALETTES

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Last year, I was ecstatic to break the news that the 2014 Château Salettes Bandol Rosé received a Gold Medal and the International Trophy for Best Rosé from England’s Decanter Magazine at the World Wine Awards held at VinExpo in Bordeaux.  Not bad.  Only 35 wines received these trophies in various categories out of the nearly 16,000 wines tasted.

The Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) is the world’s largest and most influential wine competition.  Chaired by Steven Spurrier, the jury of 240 wine experts includes several MWs, Master Sommeliers, journalists and wine merchants from around the globe.  The results provide a comprehensive list of international wine recommendations.

Not one to rest on his laurels, Salettes’ young Managing Director Alexandre Le Corguillé just notified me that his new vintage (2015) of Bandol Rosé just earned another Gold Medal at this year’s Paris Concours.

This wine was officially bottled at the beginning of March in accordance with INAO rules for Bandol.  Vinergie’s first shipment is scheduled to arrive into Port of NY/NJ in mid-April.

2015 Château Salettes Bandol Rosé  $156/case FOB NJ
2013 Château Salettes Bandol Rouge  $192/case FOB NJ

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CHÂTEAU SALETTES
BANDOL CUVÉE CAYENNE

Alexandre realized early on that one ideally-situated hectare of Salettes’ Mourvèdre vines planted in the early 1970s on sandstone (grès) and clay marls was very special.  In 2012, he persuaded proprietor Jean-Pierre Boyer to let him make a special cuvée from the parcel.  It’s named for Le Bagne de Cayenne, the 19th century penal colony established in French Guyana for political prisoners. The back-breaking efforts of Salettes’ vineyard team evokes images of the forced labor at such a prison as the otherwise well-treated crew had to bust up slabs of sandstone with pickaxes under the hot sun to make this parcel arable.

Professionals at a tasting held at the famous Hotel Negresco in Nice last year voiced favorable comparisons between Salettes’ 2012 Cayenne and Domaine Tempier’s special bottlings, La Migoua and La Tourtine.

16/20 Very dark blackish ruby. Pale rim. Much fresher and livelier than the regular bottling with some intensity and treacle notes. Complete and luscious with intense fruit. This tastes like all Mourvèdre but without the reduction and with more richness.––Jancis Robinson (6/20/14)

We are pleased to announce the release of the 2013 CHÂTEAU SALETTES BANDOL CUVÉE CAYENNE which Alex feels is even better.

$160/six-pack FOB NJ

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