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Vignelaure_Feature-6181240
May 15, 2016 9

CHÂTEAU VIGNELAURE: “THE” RED IN PROVENCE BEFORE TRÉVALLON CAME ALONG…IS BACK!

In 1987, in his introduction to Provence wines in The Wines of the Rhône Valley and Provence, legendary wine critic Robert Parker described the newly created Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence appellation in four sentences, including: “Two of Provence’s greatest red wines are made here, the Domaine de Trévallon and Château Vignelaure.” Beyond the great red wines to which Parker refers, the history of these two unique estates is intertwined in some very interesting ways.

From their first vintages—1970 at Château Vignelaure and the mid-1970s at Domaine de Trévallon—global recognition for their respective outstanding, age-worthy reds seemed within reach. Separated by about 100 kilometers, the proprietors shared a passion for Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah that would bring them together and, by all rights, should have launched them on parallel paths to stardom in the wine world. Domaine Trévallon’s ascendancy has been successful—their red wines continue to be revered around the world—but Château Vignelaure’s steady rise to long-term international acclaim faltered.

A recent visit to Château Vignelaure, however, revealed the estate is back on course. In the words of Vignelaure Œoenologue Philippe Bru: “Vignelaure was on top for its reds 30 years ago and now it’s back,” adding with understandable satisfaction, that rosés and whites are now also produced [...]

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Petale de Rose Photo
May 7, 2016 7

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Versatility

This month I tried something different. I tested one wine with two very different dishes to learn what affect food really has on the taste. This all started because I had a bottle of 2015 Pétale de Rose from the well-known Château La Tour de l'Évêque, a bottle I can't easily get here in the Southwest where I live. I wanted the pairing to be special, and [...]

Musings and Memories of a Wine Maven: Notes Too Long for the Cellar Book

Rue Joseph Duclos in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Henri Bonneau's family home is in the background, with green shutters, and his legendary wine cave lies behind the blue shutters. Photo by Jacques Navarre
April 2, 2016 10

Musings of a Wine Maven

HENRI BONNEAU, LE DERNIER ADIEU

I arrived at No. 35 Rue Joseph Ducos just in time to watch five men, led by son Marcel Bonneau, carry the casket of legendary winemaker Henri Bonneau (1938 - 2016) from his long-time home to the 11th-century church Nôtre-Dame-de-l’Assomption, across the street. In moments, it seemed, the casket had been carefully placed in the center aisle in front of the altar. That was March 26th.

Just five days earlier, I had been in Châteauneuf-du-Pape with business associate Jacques Navarre; it was one of the stops on our ten-day visit to wine producers in Burgundy and the Rhône Valley. I had not anticipated returning to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, yet when I heard the news that Monsieur Bonneau had died, I immediately [...]

The Wine Snoop Report

Sacha Lichine
May 4, 2016 10

Sacha Lichine Buys Winemaking Cooperative in La Motte

Sacha Lichine, Bordeaux-bred proprietor of world-renowned Château d’Esclans, has bought a coop in the village of La Motte, where the Château is also located. Apparently, the demand for Whispering Angel, the entry level rosé of the four pink wines he currently [...]

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