The presence of producers in the vineyards is getting bigger: the end of summer heralds the start of the harvest.
With the heatwave happening in August, many of the wineries already started. A good part of them are harvesting at night, specially in the South of France, to protect the grapes from sunburn and having too much alcohol. Overall, the peak in activity in all the regions is expected mid-September!
This year should be good in terms of volume, with a stabilization compare to last year. We will of course keep you posted!
DOMAINE LA CABOTTE : BURGUNDY ORIGINS AND BIODYNAMIC PIONEER
In the 80's, Gabriel d'Ardhuy, owner of Domaine d'Ardhuy in Cote d'Or, offered to his daughter Marie-Pierre to take care of the second family estate in the Rhône Valley. With her husband Eric, they extended the estate from 10 to 30 hectares.
Since the beginning, the estate is farmed organically and biodynamically, to the point that Eric is now a teacher for producers who wish to begin a more natural approach.
The sandy soils of the plateau of the Massif d’Uchaux, where they are located, are very poor in nutrients, producing wines of real finesse and elegance. Marie-Pierre and Eric use the lunar calendar as a guidepost for appropriate natural vine treatments. Keeping the yields low, an uncommon practice in the high-yielding Côtes-du-Rhône, is paramount to their philosophy.
Convinced about the benefits of a more natural form of agriculture, as well as of the energy relations around us, Eric and Marie-Pierre's wines are **fresh, delicate and explosively fruity, with an incomparable smoothness. A Burgundy touch in the Rhone Valley ? **
LUYTON-FLEURY : FROM VINEMAKING TO WINEMAKING
Cousins Pascal Luyton and Raphaël Fleury are from a 4th generation nursery, producing vine plants : it is a natural choice to follow the path of their family and continue its legacy.
They created Domaine Luyton-Fleury from the few family owned parcels, with the particularity of being able to produce their own plants.
Located in close proximity to Mauves, the heart of the Saint-Joseph appellation, the young winery, certified organic since 2020, is producing wines from Saint-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, and Saint-Péray, with Hermitage to come too.
We were blown away by the elegancy of the Syrah in the Saint-Joseph and the Crozes-Hermitage: the softness and the freshness combine with the structure coming from the climate, as well as the minerality that brightens the wines.
The two young cousins are already producing really promising wines, and it is for sure a winery to follow!
CHAMPAGNE SADI MALOT : CHARDONNAY GROWER IN THE HOME OF PINOT NOIR
Villers-Marmery is a Premier Cru in the Montagne de Reims : this area of Champagne is known for being planted with Pinot Noir, notably with the famous Grand Cru Verzy. Villers-Marmery is seen as an exception in the Pinot Noir ocean, as it is planted with almost only Chardonnay!
It is home of Champagne Sadi-Malot, new grower in our portfolio. With 10 hectares , the winery was created in 1883 by Socrate Malot, and named after his brother Sadi, born the day of the assassination of French president Sadi Carnot.
The vineyard is planted with 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot, and located on both Villers-Marmery and Grand Cru Verzy. Since more than 15 years now, the Malot family makes a point of honor to have the most natural way of producing Champagnes : it paid off, with the organic certification happening in 2017, and the biodynamic one will follow soon!
Since working in the vineyard is only the first step in a winemaker's work, their approach doesn't stop there. The use of wood in their wines and its provenance is important to them : thus they acquired in 2010 a bespoke design of a cask made from wood sourced from the nearby Argonne forest.
We are very glad to have this winery in our portfolio. With a growing popularity in the US, a distribution is already in place in some states. To find out if they are available in your state, please reach out to us !
CHATEAU ARNAUD : HIDDEN SAINT-ESTEPHE
Saint-Estèphe, with light upper soils on a layer of clay and limestone, is the Northernmost appellation in the Médoc, and one of the richest and well-structured wines in all the Bordeaux appellations.
The Arnaud family, owners of the magnificent Château Pomys, have been making beautiful Saint-Estèphe since the 18th century. Since 1951, the family owns Chateau Arnaud, a classic Saint-Estèphe that previously attracted other great winemakers, as it was formerly owned by the Estournel family (once owner of the eponymous 2nd Grand Cru Classé).
Chateau Arnaud is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, 50% each, aged in oak barrels (which 15% are new) in an underground cellar : it is a well-structured and elegant wine, with an incredible potential ageing, that reveals refined notes of blackcurrant, violet, mocha, vanilla, spices, and licorice.
For lovers of classical Bordeaux, this smaller Chateau of only 2.5 hectares is a gem hidden among the Grands Crus of Saint-Estèphe : vintage 2017 is currently available, and it is a real treat!
When I worked in the family Domaine in Meursaut in the 80s, I had the good opportunity to meet
Alain Chapel, an incredible chef who in turn, inspired a generation of chefs. Twice a year, Alain would
invite winemakers for what one could say..