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2021 Alpes-Maritimes Grassenc “Les Planches de Lunel”

Clos Saint-Joseph
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In a mixed parcel planted by his great-grandfather in 1925, Roch identified a long-lost local variety called Grassenc. He took cuttings and replanted a few rows to yield a single barrel of this delicate, low-alcohol red characterized by intoxicating notes of white pepper and rose petals. It’s a rare and special wine, best served chilled, that you might compare to Schioppettino or Pineau d'Aunis: unusual, invigorating, absolutely delightful.

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2021
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Grassenc
Appellation: IGP Alpes Maritimes
Country: France
Region: Provence
Producer: Clos Saint-Joseph
Winemaker: Roch Sassi
Vineyard: Planted in 2010, .35 ha
Soil: Clay, limestone
Aging: Vinified in concrete tank, aged in demi-muids (5 years old) for 1 year
Farming: Biodynamic (practicing)
Alcohol: 12.5%

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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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Vintage illustration of men rolling barrels.

We only import wine we drink and enjoy ourselves, directly from the source.

Our wine tastes the same in your home as it did where it was bottled in Europe.

Like the long-term relationships we build with growers, we build long-term relationships with our clients. Have a question? Need wine advice? Just give us a call—510-524-1524.

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