Despite the drizzle and grey skies the white limestone rock of the Alpilles mountains surrounding Baux de Provence still seemed to dazzle. Domaine de Trévallon is a truly magical place hidden amongst this dramatic landscape. We were greeted by Eloi’s daughter, Ostianne who oozed enthusiasm and passion for the domaine and took us on a wonderful tour of the vineyards.
There is a unique terroir at Trévallon and the Cabernet and Syrah vines seem to thrive on this rocky terrain. Even the family dog seems to agree that the grapes are tasty.
The wines we tasted were absolutely fantastic. We tasted the 2008 vintage from barrel. Each grape variety from the blend is vinified and aged separately. For me it was very interesting to compare. The final blend is around 50/50 of each variety.
The 2009s were a bit more opulent and yet still elegant and mineral. Eloi says this is a result of the unique terroir and microclimate that surrounds the domaine. We also tried the 2007 vintage which I really liked. It was very powerful on the nose but so supple on the palate and had a lovely savoury side to the wine. Eloi really spoilt us as we also had the 2003 (ripe, creamy and herbal) and 2001 (meaty, very long and a wonderful sweetness) vintages.
After dropping Philippa off at the airport and a wonderful lunch overlooking the harbour at Le Madrigal, Robin and I headed over to Domaine Tempier in Bandol.
The domaine is set a rolling landscape and is very beautiful and surprisingly very green. Daniel Ravier is now in charge of the winemaking and his passion for Mourvèdre, the dominant grape variety in Bandol, is infectious. He ages his wines for at least 20 months in big barrels (foutres) and doesn’t use any stems. Their wines are generally very focused, fresh, pure and have a wonderful savoury character to them. There are four different cuvées : Classique, La Migoua, La Tourtine and Cabassaou. The 2009s were very well balanced, elegant and fresh.
As Mourvèdre ages the wine becomes more elegant and so tasting the 1978 was a huge treat. More garnet in colour, an almost Barolo-like nose of roses. Many layers of flavours- tobacco, smoked meat, paprika and brambled fruit. We certainly enjoyed the wine later at dinner as he gave it to us to take away!