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2021 Cassis Blanc

Clos Sainte Magdeleine
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Jonathan Sack, vigneron at Clos Sainte Magdeleine, is currently serving his second term as president of the Cassis AOC. Since his election, he has made sustainability a priority, spearheading a move toward organic farming that has resulted in nine of the appellation’s ten domaines being certified organic today.
     Its vineyards clinging to coastal bluffs in the heart of the Parc National des Calanques, Cassis holds the unique distinction of being France’s sole appellation situated within a national park. Jonathan’s gently aromatic 2021 blanc illustrates the area’s natural beauty in pristine detail: terraced limestone slopes cascading down toward azure waters; delicate scents of wild herbs and yellow flowers unlocked by the Provençal sun; a salty marine breeze refreshing a balmy fall afternoon on the Mediterranean.

Anthony Lynch


Technical Information
Wine Type: white
Vintage: 2021
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 40% Marsanne, 30% Ugni blanc, 25% Clairette, 5% Bourboulenc
Appellation: Cassis
Country: France
Region: Provence
Producer: Clos Sainte Magdeleine
Winemaker: Jonathan Sack
Vineyard: Planted in 1972-2009 (40 years average), 9 ha
Soil: Clay, Limestone
Aging: Aged in stainless steel tanks and two 500-L demi-muids on fine lees until spring or early summer bottling
Farming: Organic (certified)
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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Vintage Chart

Trust the great winemakers, trust the great vineyards. Your wine merchant might even be trustworthy. In the long run, that vintage strip may be the least important guide to quality on your bottle of wine.—Kermit Lynch