|Raimond de Villeneuve's impressively beautiful, biodynamic vineyard is literally situated in an amphitheater, thus having a very special microclimate. Chateau de Roquefort is at an altitude of 1000 feet, allowing later harvesting, which results in more freshness and greater phenolic maturity, and therefore more complexity than is usual in Provençal wines. The 25 hectare of vineyards are located on the edge of the Bandol appellation, just over the ridge so Mourvedre does not ripen here as well as at Bandol (it is a difficult grape to ripen) so it is not the focus. One third of the vines are over 40 years old, with the rest ranging between 15 and 40. De Villeneuve is well-educated, well-traveled and with previous experience in the trade working for Mommessin in Burgundy. This experience shows in the quality of the wines and the refined beauty of the package. He came back to his old family property in 1995 and began making and bottling wines under the Chateau name; previously the wines were sold in bulk. Raimond is a very open-minded winemaker and taster, always striving for quality and willing to honestly assess his wines. As well, he is always experimenting; he has even planted some Cabernet Franc.|
His talent has been recognized by Michel Bettane, calling him one of the finest winemakers in Provence: "incontestably, one of the great hopes of the Cotes de Provence...the wines perfectly combine ample and intense fruit with a rich and silky body. The wines of Roquefort possess a hedonistic character that will make you immediately rejoice."
"Here, in fact, we were very lucky ! Following the necessary special pruning, the 2013 season developed particularly well. Without compromising in any way either the quality or the content of our work, we even managed to make great strides with new plantings.
And to keep moving forward, we have just cleared more than 4ha of ancient overgrown terraces which hadn’t been touched for more than a century ! Some of them are over 400m above sea level! Half of the new vineyard areas will be planted with rootstocks this year ready to receive their vine grafts next year ... and so on. The winds of renewal are blowing through our vineyard ! We shall certainly be able to bring out quite distinctive expressions of our terroir in the future.
Coming back to the 2013 harvest: it was simple, easy and quite straightforward ! The growing season started off rather late, with a cool but usefully wet spring – ideal for the “deep south” ! The grapes ripened perfectly towards the end of September. After twelve days of picking, we had more than I could ever have hoped for: 30% less a normal yield ! A superb result bearing in mind the shattering impact of the hail on the whole vineyard on 1st July 2012 ... !
So we have been able to produce our main cuvées again, with Corail rosé first of all, our two whites, Petit Salé (Clairette) and Les Genêts (Vermentino), followed by two reds: Gueule de Loup and Les Mûres.
Vintage report 2014
"BEAUTIFUL BUT CAPRICIOUS”. "Capricious because of the weather : it was the warmest year for more than 100 years, and yet the summer was quite moderate. It was also a very wet year, with heavy rain in January and February, but equally with further downpours from August through the end of December. 1300mm of water per square metre, that’s simply huge!
In the period from September 17th to October 10th, we harvested, after selection, 192 tons of grapes. On four occasions our work was interrupted by heavy rain! At times we seemed to be in an almost subtropical atmosphere, and then our sainted Mistral blew and brought us clear skies … Memory has a knack of quietly eliminating the moments of fear, of pain … but it doesn’t stop us from trembling at the approach of danger, like a dog when its hair stands on end ! That’s rather how we felt during the course of this vintage. And as if to add a little more spice to life, a little wine fly called Drosophilia Suzuki, originating in Asia, came to join the fun ! So we had to be in a particularly combative state of mind for this, our 20th harvest, a winemaker’s vintage par excellence!"
|Chateau de Roquefort Website|
|They gave the shirt off their back for Raimond! |
|Grêle Rouge N2|
|Vin de Pays de Mediterranée.|
The first cuvée of "Grêle" is virtually a Who's Who of Provence and includes grapes from 35 domaines. These generous estates are : Ch de Beaupré, Ch de Pibarnon, Ch La Coste, Ch de La Noblesse, Ch Les Mesclances, Ch Pradeaux, Ch Revelette, Ch Sainte-Anne, Ch Sulauze, Ch Vignelaure, Domaine de Gayolle, Domaine de la Bastide Blanche, Domaine de la Bégude, Domaine de la Mongestine, Domaine de la Réaltière, Domaine de la Tour du Bon, Domaines Ott, Domaine de Saint-Bacchi, Domaine de Trévallon, Domaines Bunan, Domaine du Bagnol, Domaine du Coulet, Domaine du Sans Regret, Domaine du Trapadis, Domaine Henri Milan, Domaine La Fourmente, Domaine La Suffrene, Domaine Les Béates, Domaine Les Luquettes, Domaine Les Terres Promises, Domaine Pinchinat, Domaine Richeaume, Domaine Sorin, Domaine Saint Louis-Jayne, Domaine Tempier, Mas Juliette.
25% Grenache Noir (from Rasteau, Visan, Coteaux d’Aix, Bandol, Châteauneuf du Pape and Baux de Provence), 25% Mourvèdre (from Bandol and Cassis), 20% Carignan (from Bandol, Coteaux Varois and Coteaux d’Aix), 20% Syrah (from Cairanne, Rasteau and Visan), 10% Cabernet Sauvignon (from Coteaux d’Aix and Baux de Provence). “ Itinerant “ harvest in 2012 using a refrigerated truck and 30, 300 and 500 kilo cases. The vinification takes place in cement tanks, where the grapes from different origins are blended. The aging is in part cement tanks and part foudres, 400 liter barrels.
This deep red wine shows intense cherry and quince with herbal freshness on the nose, and a full, rich palate with a long finish. An unusual wine to pair with both grilled and stewed meats.
|Grêle Rouge N1|
|Vin de Pays de Mediterranée.|
This cuvée of "Grêle" is virtually a Who's Who of Provence and includes grapes from 35 domaines. These generous estates are : Ch de Beaupré, Ch de Pibarnon, Ch La Coste, Ch de La Noblesse, Ch Les Mesclances, Ch Pradeaux, Ch Revelette, Ch Sainte-Anne, Ch Sulauze, Ch Vignelaure, Domaine de Gayolle, Domaine de la Bastide Blanche, Domaine de la Bégude, Domaine de la Mongestine, Domaine de la Réaltière, Domaine de la Tour du Bon, Domaines Ott, Domaine de Saint-Bacchi, Domaine de Trévallon, Domaines Bunan, Domaine du Bagnol, Domaine du Coulet, Domaine du Sans Regret, Domaine du Trapadis, Domaine Henri Milan, Domaine La Fourmente, Domaine La Suffrene, Domaine Les Béates, Domaine Les Luquettes, Domaine Les Terres Promises, Domaine Pinchinat, Domaine Richeaume, Domaine Sorin, Domaine Saint Louis-Jayne, Domaine Tempier, Mas Juliette.
The grapes for this release are a selection from the best parcels. 25% Grenache Noir (from Rasteau, Visan, Coteaux d’Aix, Bandol, Châteauneuf du Pape and Baux de Provence), 25% Mourvèdre (from Bandol and Cassis), 20% Carignan (from Bandol, Coteaux Varois and Coteaux d’Aix), 20% Syrah (from Cairanne, Rasteau and Visan), 10% Cabernet Sauvignon (from Coteaux d’Aix and Baux de Provence). “ Itinerant “ harvest in 2012 using a refrigerated truck and 30, 300 and 500 kilo cases. The vinification takes place in cement tanks, where the grapes from different origins are blended. The aging is in part cement tanks and part foudres, 400 liter barrels.
Bottled on July 12th 2013, 908 cases made.
|Petit Salé - Monblanc|
|Clairette from vines planted in 1954... with a touch of Vermentino. Stony clay-limestone soils, with West/Northwest exposure, at 380 meters high. Yields are 57 hectoliters/hectare.|
“Petit Salé” (little salty) is the local name given to the Clairette grape. It refers to the small little white dots present on the grape and also to its slightly saline taste.
The grapes for the 2014 vintage were hand-harvested starting at the beginning of October and sorted at the winery upon arrival. The crop was then destemmed and gently crushed. Maceration on the skins at 41F followed by extraction with a pneumatic press. Fermentation at temperature controlled (64F to 73F) with malolactic fermentation blocked in order to maximize the freshness. Cold stabilized. Aged in concrete tanks before bottling in February and March 2015.
Pale color, fine bouquet with a floral and mineral character with notes of white peach and lemon. Lively on the palate, a precise wine, influenced by limestone and flint, delightfully fresh. Excellent with cheeses and tapas. 12% Alcohol. 2066 cases and 525 magnums made.
|Cotes de Provence Rose - Corail|
|This Rose is made from 30% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 20% Cinsault. 10% Carignan, 10% Vermentino, 5% Clairette.|
Harvested between September 17th and October 10th. The wine was produced through direct pressing, partially destemmed. Certain varieties went through a cold maceration for 8 to 24 hours before being pressed. Cold clarification and natural fermentation between 64 and 73F. Gravitational work in the cellar as often as possible.
“Corail” is the domaine’s rosé and it has classic Provencal characteristics. Pale coral color with a delicately spicy nose of citrus fruits, lively on the palate with notes of white fruits, citrus and a hint of fennel. Clean and refreshing finish. It is an ideal match for a range of Mediterranean dishes, from appetizers with garlic and olive oil in the mix, to seafood and even lamb dishes. It is perfect with wood-grilled meats. 13% Alcohol. 8333 cases made.
|Gueule de Loup|
|80% Grenache, 10% Cinsault, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.|
This cuvée was born when Raimond decided to create a distinctive new wine by blending two vintages, 2007 and 2008. The 2007 was very concentrated and took a whole year to complete the malolactic fermentation. By that time the 2008 was finished and turned out much lighter, due to a terrible summer. He therefore decided to turn a vice into a virtue and blend, not with the idea of simply reinforcing the thinner wine with the richer but in the perspective of treating vintage assemblage like variety assemblage i.e. to create something original.
The cuvée can be a single vintage or a multi vintage.
The vines are between 25 and 55 years old. Grapes are manually harvested and 90% are partially de-stemmed and crushed. Vinification lasts two to four weeks in temperature-controlled tanks, with élévage in cement tanks (80%) and foudre (20%).
The robe is deep and slightly violet. The nose is pure and is dominated by notes of red fruit and red currant. The palate is full and fresh. Try this charming red with light meats, oily fish, spicy preparations or just quaffing with friends. 14% Alcohol. 19,700 and 525 magnums produced.
|Cotes du Provence Rouge - Les Mures|
|This generous red is made from a blend of 40% Grenache, 30% Carignan, 20% Syrah and 10% Cinsault. The vineyard benefits from a relatively cooler climate thanks to its higher altitude (1200-1300 feet). These older vines (35-60 years old) are planted in a “cirque”, or natural amphitheater, formed by a glacier, on clay-limestone with a stony surface and numerous slate outcroppings, with western and northwestern exposure.|
The yield for this generous vintage is around 50 hectoliters/hectare.
Vinification takes place in concrete tanks, a part of which are open and in which “pigeage “, or punching of the cap, is performed. Temperatures are never permitted to exceed 77° F, to prevent over-extraction. Elevage takes place in large foudres, or 40 hectoliter casks, and cement tanks.
Deep purple in color, this wine exhibits rich notes of ripe, dark cherries, blackberries along with that classic provençal underpinning of ‘garrigue’. An elegant and refined cuvée with polished tannins, Les Mûres pairs wonderfully with heartier fare, such as Mediterranean beef stew with orange rind.
|40% Syrah, 40% Mourvedre, 20% Carignan - Vines from 35 to 55 years.|
"Coincidenta Oppositorum": it is rare to be able to vinify together and at perfect maturity the early ripening Syrah with the late ripening Carignan and Mourvèdre. The result of an unusual climate, this cuvée is the third in thirteen years. Aged in demi-muids (600-liter oak barrels) for 26 months. La Pourpre is meant for aging and is unfiltered. 3480 bottles et 260 magnums produced.
|This blend of 70% Grenache, 15% Mouvedre, 15% Carignan is Villeneuve's top, old-vines cuvee. Michel Bettane says this is the best wine of the appellation.|
Its Latin name speaks volumes; this wine is made up of fruit harvested from 100 year old vines. Can be drunk now but with great ageing potential for added dimension to the structure of the wine.
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