About This Wine...
Included in Wines To Drink This Year: Wilson on Wine 2019 “gluggable, light, juicy, piquant Côtes du Rhône”
Grenache/ Syrah/ Carignan
A blend of Grenache, Syrah & Carignan, grown in Estezargues, west of Avignon. Fruity aromas of black cherries, blackberries with spicy notes of pepper and liquorice. Medium bodied with soft tannins but remains very lively on the palate due to its refreshing acidity.
“‘ripe red fruit aromas with darker fruits onthe palate and more depth than is usually found in Côtes du Rhône with touches of liquorice and dark cherry” The Irish Examiner, 4th November 2017
“Rounded ripe strawberry and raspberry fruits, fresh with an undercurrent of power and warmth that is quite irresistible” John Wilson, The Irish Times April 2017
This small cooperative is routinely regarded as the finest example of the cooperative system in France today. It is situated five km east of the Pont du Gard and seventeen km west of Avignon and was created in 1965 and the founding ten grape growing families from the village of Estézargues continue to play an active role and their harvests still provide the vast majority of the wines produced at the winery. The very fact that it is made up of such a small number of producers is at the heart of its success. Instead of merging with neighbouring cooperatives and relying on economies of scale, the growers at Estézargues have remained fiercely independent and have created within the winery a sense of pride and competition that encourages the members to think and behave like independent grape growers.
The vineyard area is stretched across two significant terroirs: the first area which is classed as Côtes du Rhône Villages with commune, is a combination of La Terrasse Villafranchienne, where millions of years ago the Rhône river flowed and which is made up of large quartz stones and Le Plateau de Signargues, made up of red clay (this part giving its name to the commune Signargues). Below this area is the second terroir, the hillsides that are made up of clay, loam and sandy soils across a diverse range of parcels, all classed as Côtes du Rhône.
The total vineyard area is bestowed with a wonderful climate, perfect for grape growing – plenty of sun and sunlight, just the right amount of rain and of course the moderating and cleansing element of the famous Mistral wind. Guided by their intelligent director, Denis Deschamps, the growers moved to working their vineyards with minimum intervention (Terra Vitis charter) as far back as 2000 and 70% of the vineyard will be worked organically by the end of 2015.
Each grower’s grapes produce wines under their own domaine names thus illustrating the specific nature of the terroir and also encouraging a sense of competition. At the same time there are cuvées made from a blend of growers’ grapes offering a wider expression of the general area of Estézargues. Winemaking technique consists of crushing and de-stemming followed by fermentation at temperatures generally below 30⁰C in stainless steel tanks. Extraction is carried out by daily pump overs and the occasional déléstage. Maceration time is in the order of 15 days after which the grapes are pressed, the wines re-assembled and then left to their malolactic fermentation and to over winter in cement tanks before being bottled the following spring.