La Crau Ouest
Probably the proudest terroir in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, overlooking the appellation and the Rhône.
LOCATION : This parcel sits at La Crau Ouest to the east of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. With its north-facing exposition, it produces complex and generous wines with backbone.
SURFACE AREA : 0.5 hectare.
GEOLOGY : Soils of very fine sand, and clayey sand formed from Miocene safres that enable particularly deep rooting of the vines.
METHOD OF CULTIVATION : Ecocert-certified organic and Demeter-certified biodynamic.
GRAPE VARIETIES : Grenache 100%.
AGE OF VINES : Average 90 years.
HARVESTING & VINIFICATION : The grapes are hand-picked into crates and sorted manually in the vineyard before a second, table sorting in the cellar. A proportion is destemmed, the quantity being determined by the nature of the vintage and the parcel, and the grapes are fed by gravity into the vats to ensure the integrity of the berries. Fermentation takes place in thermo-regulated stainless-steel vats for 20 to 30 days, with two long pumping over sessions daily. Punching down is decided after tasting. Pressed pneumatically. Malolactic fermentation in vat. The wines are clarified by settling over winter in the cellar. Barrel filling occurs in the spring.
AGEING : 18 months in 8-hectoliter terracotta amphorae. Unfined and unfiltered at bottling.
PERSONALITY : A significant difference in day and night time temperatures create tannins of a very high quality, combining finesse and precision. This is a parcel where the biodynamic preparation 500P is sovereign. Cow horn manure reinforces the microbial life of the soil, essential for the retention of organic matter in this particularly well-draining sandy soil. Pushed to the limits by ageing in terracotta amphorae, the wine gains in tension and mellowness. With their incredible energy, and famed for their longevity and unique character, the wines from La Crau Ouest have long contributed to the renown of Rhone Valley wines.