AOC Luberon Blanc
With influences from both Rhône and Provence, the blend is intriguing, with Grenache, Clairette, Rousanne and Marsanne. On the nose, fresh apricot and honeysuckle with flavours of lush peach and citrus on the palate. Creamy smooth oily texture, a simply delicious wine. Limited quantity.
***(*) John Livingstone-Learmonth, DrinkRhone.com:
'Peach, damp wool, nutty aroma – the fruit has a “high” aspect, very ripe, comes with some greengage. It clarifies with air, though still has a lurking ripeness. There is carbonic gas pep on the attack, immediately, with a follow-up of white fruit near the stone, peach with apricot. The finish is supple, rounded. Steady wine for la table – poultry, noodles, steamed dishes. It is pretty jaunty, although it just tones down and drifts a little on the finish. There is tang in it, suggesting Marsanne. 25% Clairette, 25% Roussanne, 25% Marsanne, 15% Grenache blanc, 5% Bourboulenc, 5% Vermentino from clay-limestone soils, vineyard dates from 1960s to 2000s, harvested at night, 3-8 week vinification, wild yeasts, steel vat fermented at 16-17°C, raised 5 months, malo blocked, fined, filtered, organic wine, some biodynamic practices' Tasted June 2016 (2015 vintage)
Chateau la Canorgue
Canorgue has been owned and run by the same family for five generations, and is a real flag bearer for the whole Luberon region. Jean-Pierre Margan pioneered organic viticulture in the appellation when he first converted his vines back in 1978. Today, increasingly aided by his daughter Nathalie, he oversees 40 hectares of organic vineyards, certified by Ecocert. Over many years the family have restructured the vineyards, planted new plots, modernised and improved the cellar, the storage, and the tasting rooms. Gradually, through sheer hard work, the domaine has became the 'go to' reference in the Luberon region.
Jean-Pierre & Nathalie's philosophy is based upon the principle of protection of the environment and producing great wines as naturally as possible. The vineyards have never been treated with weed killers, insecticides, pesticides or fungicides. A few biodynamic treatments are also applied such as nettle or horsetail preparations. The harvest for red wines is essentially manual. The use of machines for the more fragile white and rosés makes it possible to harvest at night to keep the grapes cool and avoid oxidation, which is harmful to quality. The vinification and wine producing operations are carried out in the same spirit of quality and natural methods. The cellar is a successful combination of traditional and modern. Tradition is respected thanks to the old vaulted 17th century cellar in which the red wines are matured in foudres, demi-muids and barriques. Modernity also has its place in the underground vinification cellar which makes it possible to steep in the grapes using gravity, an additional guarantee of quality. Vinification is also natural, no artificial yeasts or tannins, tartaric acid or other additives are used, and only a minimal dose of sulphur is added. The domaine vineyards are planted with both Rhone and Mediterranean varieties - essential for the Luberon AOP - Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Mourvedre, Cinsault for the reds and Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, Bourboulenc, Vermentino for the whites. The average age of these vines is 40-45 years, with just a few plots dating from the 1930s! Yields are intentionally kept low in order to focus on quality and authenticity.