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The Wines

Rhône Valley Region - Wines

The southern Rhône Valley offers sunshine, ancient hilltop villages, and gorgeous picture postcard vistas. Within this beautiful climate, the noble Syrah grape thrives, usually in unison with Grenache and Mourvèdre. They all produce rich, spicy, opulent wines that combine power with the distinct flavours of southern France.

Our three vineyards produce stunning wines in some fabulous locations. Choose from our rich and juicy Côtes du Rhône in the hills near Valréas, our biodynamic Gigondas and Vacqueyras from the fabulous Montirius estate or our award-winning Châteauneuf-du-Pape from within the heart of this famous appellation. These are wines for winter. For hedonists who enjoy a little bang for their buck!

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The Vineyards

Montirius

Organic

We have been working with the delightful Saurel family after they left the local cooperative in 2001. Since then, they have taken the estate to fabulous levels of quality through their biodynamic philosophy. The Montirius domaine is quite a large one at over 50 hectares, spread out over the incredibly beautiful countryside around Gigondas and Vacqueyras in the southern Rhône Valley.

The ever-present Dentelles de Montmirail offer an amazing backdrop to their vineyards and a visit to the region is unforgettable. Very much a family affair, daughter Justine has now joined Eric and Christine as winemaker and Marius and Manon are lined up for future involvement too!

 

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  • International Wine Silver

    Vacqueyras 2011

  • International Wine Commended

    Vacqueyras 2007

  • International Wine Bronze

    Gigondas 2008

Our exclusive Vacqueyras is made from old vines grown on the plateau of the garrigue.  It is a rich and supple blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah with a lovely floral nose with violet, licorice, kirsch and garrigue. It has deliciously pure raspberry and blueberry fruit on the palate leading to a smooth, suave, savoury finish. Although rich and powerful, it is wonderfully easy to drink and enjoy over five years. It will match lots of hearty dishes, but provencal lamb or braised pheasant with chestnuts will work a treat!

Vacqueyras

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Our exclusive Gigondas is made from a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre grapes from old, low-yielding vines – some of which are over 80 years old. 

It is a classic Gigondas with a fragrant, spicy personality – typical of this appellation, high up in the Dentelles mountains. On the nose it is fragrant and perfumed with spicy notes as well as coffee and mocha. The seductive palate has layers of sweet, ripe damson fruit as well as licorice, aniseed and a spicy, tangy note giving it real typicité. The tannins are velvet smooth. Try this beauty with beef stroganoff or cassoulet. Drink within 4 – 5  years.

Gigondas

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This is an impressive 100% Syrah that comes from a tiny 1.5 hectare plot. It is slightly cooler as it is surrounded by trees which allow the grapes to achieve a longer maturation time under the Provencal sun, thus giving greater finesse and more complex flavours. It punches above its weight, with power and density – however it must be declassified to a Côtes du Rhone because it is a single grape variety which the appellation rules forbid! With plenty of liquorice and pepper spice, this lovely wine will work well with spicy lamb tagine or spiced lamb with pomegranate.

 

Côtes du Rhône Sérine

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La Fagotière

Organic

We have been working with La Fagotière now for just four vintages and during this time we have seen some wonderful, medal winning wines emerge from their estate. Run by sister and brother duo Valérie and Pascal Chastan, this organic estate continues to go from strength to strength.

La Fagotière own 17 hectares of vines in prime galet-laden terroir in the north eastern part of Châteauneuf. These large round boulders typify the region and are very much in evidence in most parts of their vineyard. Their stately old bush-trained Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah vines that are up to 70 years old, share many of the characteristics of their famous neighbour Château Beaucastel but at a fraction of the price.

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Our exclusive Châteauneuf-du-Pape rouge has won many prestigious medals at the International Wine Challenge since our first vintage, the 2007 was released. The blend varies each year, but is invariably a blend of Grenache, Syrah,  Mourvèdre  and Cinsault.

It is a rich, spicy wine that benefits from a few years ageing at first. It offers up a deep, opaque colour and a deep, brooding nose of autumn fruits, black olive and pepper. The palate is crammed with richly textured blackberry fruit and there is a backbone of fine, grippy tannins.  It finishes long, powerful and majestically smooth. A superb wine to be enjoyed over the next decade.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape rouge

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Châteauneuf-du-Pape blanc is something of a rarity, little seen outside of the region. Ours is a blend of of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Clairette and Picpoul.

Vinified at low temperature in stainless steel, it has an intriguing nose of  ripe pear fruit, honey, almonds and provencal herbs. It is fresh and fruity with lovely citrus and honey flavours and a dash of licorice and aniseed in the very long finish. Drunk young and fresh, it can feel quite light and elegant. Over three or four years, it takes on weight and develops a complex honeyed richness that can be beguiling.  Drink 5 – 6 years after vintage with sole fillets with shrimps and mushrooms.

 

Châteauneuf-du-Pape blanc

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Domaine des Grands Devers

Organic Organic

Grands Devers is a delightful place to stop over. Close to the town of Valréas but remotely situated up in the hills surrounded by vines, pine trees and truffle oaks, one has a sense of well being.  This is the essence of southern France, where your senses are aroused by the lovely smell of wild herbs on the warm breeze, the sound of the ubiquitous cicadas and perhaps the ravishing scent of Louis-Pascal’s cooking from inside the beautiful domaine farmhouse.

The Bouchard brothers, from the eponymous, historic and famous Bouchard Merchants in Burgundy, make serious, structured and ageworthy wines. In many ways, the complex fragrance, concentration and tannic mass of their wines have more in common with nearby Gigondas and Vacqueyras, but without the price tag!

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With great terroir, this Côtes du Rhône-Villages from the Bouchards punches way above its weight compared to most Côtes du Rhônes. With gentle garrigue and earth notes on the nose, the palate is fresh, open and juicy with come hither blackberry, raspberry and cherry fruit. It finishes well, with delicious pepper and spice and a friendly lick of cream. A well made, harmonious wine with tremendous personality.

Côtes du Rhône-Villages rouge

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This white is made from a careful blend of Viognier, Marsanne and Roussane from low-yielding vines at the front of the Bouchard’s domaine  (which has plenty of shade).  It is fragrant on the nose with ripe pear and aniseed notes. The palate is crisp and refreshing with honeyed richness, citrus fruit and apple compote.  It is an excellent match for quite strong-flavoured fish dishes such as trout, or monkfish, or perhaps pork or chicken with a creamy sauce.  Drink within two to three years.

 

 

Côtes du Rhône-Villages blanc

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The Accommodation

The hotels, chambres d’hôtes and gîtes we recommend in the Rhône Valley are all personally known to us and are where we stay when we visit our winemakers. They have been selected because they are convenient for the vineyards, offer a warm welcome and provide good value for money within their category.

  • Most of our recommended places to stay offer a discount to 3D members.
  • We will also make your booking for you.
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