Domaine Maby has been handed down over several generations of the same winemaking family. The winery and vineyard is located in the heart of the Côtes du Rhône. The folks at Domaine Maby cultivate their lands with great respect for the environment and have signed a Sustainable Agriculture contract. This enables them to ensure the magnificent soils are allowed to express themselves to the fullest.
Tavel and Lirac share the same soils studded with rounded pebbles as Châteauneuf du Pape. These rounded pebbles were literally ripped out of the Alps by the river Rhône in prehistoric times, but in today’s calmer environment they store up heat during the daytime and gently release it at night, contributing towards bringing our grapes to perfect maturity. Other vines planted on more sandy and shale type soils enable Domaine Maby to offer a full range of red, white and rosé wines.
Domaine Maby is available exclusively at Metrovino.
Domaine de Marcoux, a small Châteauneuf domaine, is owned and managed by Philippe Armenier and his sister, Sophie Estevenin. After a visit to Domaine Leroy in Burgundy in 1990 Philippe put one third of his 34 hectares to bio-dynamic culture in 1990. Today all the vineyards are farmed according to bio-dynamic principles. This is designed to bring the vineyard back into balance after the post-war excessive use of chemicals. Armenier also feels that this renewed balance results in more effective photosynthesis, contributing to a steadier, more even ripening process. The vineyards are planted with Grenache (70%), Mourvèdre (10%), Cinsault (5%) and Syrah (5%). Another 5% is given over to different vines varieties such as Muscardin, Counoise and Vaccarèse.
Marcoux has its vineyards dotted around the appellation and is therefore blessed with a large variation of soil-types, ranging from the large round smooth stone soils, to sand, gravel and limestone. The regular Châteauneuf-du-Pape is one of the best examples in the appellation, while the Cuvée Vieilles Vignes is a powerful and concentrated wine and is now one of the most sought after deluxe cuvées in Châteauneuf.
Ogier starting making estate wines in 1987, previous to that they sold the grapes from their 2 and a half hectare estate to others. Today Ogier is considered in the top echelon of Cote Rotie and Condrieu, producing tiny amounts of etherial wines prized by wine lovers across the globe. This is a passionate estate run by the talented and young Stephane Ogier, here are his words. “Based in Ampuis for many generations, my family has always worked in the vineyards of Côte-Rôtie. Taking over from my father Michel in 1998, I decided to do a very precise work on our different soils to reveal the unique character of those historical places. The range of wines we offer is true to our roots and represents, for us, the culmination of a long history and an exciting daily work.”
Domaine Ogier is available exclusively at J Webb Wine Merchant.
Domaine Pierre Usseglio
In 1931 an Italian Francis Usseglio left Italy and went to Chateauneuf du Pape in France, where he got a job with some winegrowers. After the war he got his own property, and had two sons, Pierre and Raymond. Pierre Usseglio eventually inherited his father’s property and Raymond established another estate. Today the 3rd generation is in charge. The sons of Pierre Usseglio, Jean-Pierre and Thierry run Domaine Pierre Usseglio and Stephanie runs Domaine Raymond Usseglio. The family’s wines can be either modern or Traditional.
Domaine Pierre Usseglio is available exclusively at J Webb Wine Merchant.
Domaine Santa Duc
Domaine Santa Duc was founded in Gigondas 1874 and had been passed down through four generations. (Interestingly, the name Santa Duc is a reference to a spectacular species of owl which can be seen in the area). Yves Gras, who is a charming, handsome and completely hands-on oenologist and the brains and talent behind this operation, took over from his father in 1985. He is one of the great characters of the region and is renowned for producing wines which are powerful evocations of the local terroir.
In Southern France, the scrubland habitat of the dry calcareous plateaux adjacent to the Mediterranean is known as ‘garrigue’. The intense aromas of native shrubs such as lavender, rosemary, sage, and thyme are an omnipresent feature of the garrigue landscape, and wines which are infused with these native aromas are highly prized for their typicity. (The soil of the garrigue is quite literally ‘infused’ – all of the above-mentioned shrubs exude aromatic oils which leach into the earth as well settling on the vines and grapes).
The wines of Yves Gras always demonstrate an immediately recognizable expression of the garrigue combined with a distinctive minerality from the sun-baked rocky soil. The grapes are farmed organically and harvested by hand, followed with a long maceration for several weeks and aging 18 months in casks.
Domaine Santa Duc is available exclusively at J Webb Wine Merchant.