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2018 Alpilles Rouge “Amethyste”

Domaine Hauvette
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Amethyste is Dominique’s ode to Cinsault, a wonderful grape that gives a fresh, low-alcohol wine and is increasingly in vogue down south. Buoyant and juicy like great Beaujolais, with a Provençal flair and the touch of a masterful winemaker, this southern beauty is France’s best example of pure Cinsault.

Dixon Brooke

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2018
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 60% Cinsault, 30% Carignan, 10% Grenache
Appellation: Alpilles
Country: France
Region: Provence
Producer: Domaine Hauvette
Winemaker: Dominique Hauvette
Vineyard: 40 years average, 2 ha
Soil: Clay, Limestone
Aging: Wine is raised in cement eggs
Farming: Biodynamic (practicing)
Alcohol: 13%

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About The Region

Provence

map of Provence

There is perhaps no region more closely aligned with the history of Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant than Provence. While Kermit began his career as a Burgundy specialist, he soon fell in love with Provence and its wines, notably the legendary Bandols of Domaine Tempier, which he began importing in 1977. He later began living in the area part-time, returning frequently between tasting trips, and today he spends most of his time at his home just outside of Bandol.

Provence is thought to be France’s most ancient wine region, established when Greek settlers landed in the modern-day port city of Marseille in the 6th century BC. The conditions here are ideal for cultivation of the grapevine, with a hot, dry climate and a prevalence of poor, rocky soils, primarily limestone-based, suitable for vines and not much else. The ever-present southern sunshine as well as the mistral, a cold, drying wind from the northwest that helps keep the vines free of disease, are crucial elements of Provençal terroir. Wild herbs from the pervasive scrubland, called garrigue, and cooling saline breezes from the Mediterranean also contribute to the quality and character of wines in all three colors.

Provence is well known for its rosés, but red wines have always held importance here. The very best, such as those from Bandol, possess great depth and a capacity for long-term aging. The white wines, notably those of Cassis, offer weight balanced by a maritime freshness, making them ideal pairings for the local seafood. Mourvèdre reigns king for red grapes, supported mainly by Grenache and Cinsault, while Clairette, Marsanne, Rolle, and Ugni Blanc are the region’s principal white grapes.

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Sampling wine out of the barrel.

When buying red Burgundy, I think we should remember:

1. Big wines do not age better than light wine.
2. A so-called great vintage at the outset does not guarantee a great vintage for the duration.
3. A so-called off vintage at the outset does not mean the wines do not have a brilliant future ahead of them.
4. Red Burgundy should not taste like Guigal Côte-Rôtie, even if most wine writers wish it would.
5. Don’t follow leaders; watch yer parking meters.

Inspiring Thirst, page 174

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