Découvertes En Vallée du Rhône – Day 2

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Second day; the show continues with even more great finds, masterclasses and a move up north later in the afternoon, to Tain l’Hermitage.

The charming girls at the family run Tavel estate of Domaine de Tourtouil. One wine is made – the Tavel rosé. Aromatic and with fine intensity thanks to a restricted yield and older vines. Tavel in general impressed with lots of excellent wines although the reference Tavel still was the La Reines de Bois from Domaine de la Mordorée.

Guillaume Demoulin’s top Tavel – Les Vignes d’Eugène – is kept at the chateau for 18 months before release. It’s built in a different style with a dash of tannins and the grapes comes from vines with a mildly put, respectable age. Furthermore the yield is kept at levels as low as 20-25 hl/ha. Who said you can’t be serious with rosé winemaking? Check out Chateau Trinquevedel for a nice surprise.

Again, the surroundings of the Popes’ Palace in Avignon are just breathtaking.

The former winemaker at Domaine Le Murmurium, Jean Marot, decided to start his own business a couple of years ago – Vindemio. The reds from him were perhaps the greatest surprise of the second day in Avignon. No oak used at all, just cement tanks since Jean doesn’t want to disturb the purity of the fruit. His Amadeus from extremely old Grenache and Syrah vines was simply amazing. Importers; this is serious wines from a passionate winemaker. Ventoux is on the move!

The Ventoux masterclass showed just how exciting the appellation is at the moment. Which is the case with Luberon as well – so much is going on here quality speaking, that it feels like the most exciting areas of the entire Rhône Valley! Pure mountain Syrah from Luberon, cool Clairette from Ventoux, wet rocks oozing rosé wines and many farmers running their vineyards and estates organically.

I just love the wines of the Vacqueyras estate Domaine La Monardière. Excellent expressions of the appellation and lovely purity in the fruit.

Leaving Avignon in the late afternoon, heading for the north. Dining at the Cave du Taurobole in Tain l’Hermitage was a lovely experience. Run by Nathalie Monterastelli and her husband, they not only serves delicious food but also offers a wine list with several classy wines at most competitive prices. Or how about the 2010 Vieilles Vignes Rousanne from Chateau de Beaucastel at 120 euros. At a restaurant! Yes, I ordered it and yes it was fab!

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