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Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache, and Cabernet Sauvignon up to ninety years old make up this cuvée. The alcohol clocks in at a very reasonable 13%—how about that for a Provençal red? Gamey notes mingle with velveteen dark fruit, the whole showing elegance and restraint. A limestoney freshness ensures great balance whether you choose to uncork it now or in a decade.
|Blend:||50% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre, 15% Grenache, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% varied|
|Appellation:||Côtes de Provence|
|Vineyard:||2.5 ha, 5-10 years, 30-40 years, and 90 years old|
Roch Sassi of Clos Saint-Joseph (named for his great-grandfather) is the only grower to bottle any wine eked from these incredibly rocky slopes. His wines fall under the Côtes de Provence appellation, even though the much cooler terroir here has little relation to the rest of the AOC. Villars in fact represents an isolated enclave of Côtes de Provence that enjoys a unique microclimate, the dry heat buffered by cold air currents from the surrounding mountains. These conditions allow for full ripening at remarkably low alcohol levels, maintaining lively fruit and bright acidity in the wines.
For the wines that I buy I insist that the winemaker leave them whole, intact. I go into the cellars now and select specific barrels or cuvées, and I request that they be bottled without stripping them with filters or other devices. This means that many of our wines will arrive with a smudge of sediment and will throw a more important deposit as time goes by, It also means the wine will taste better.