he day began with a quick drive from the Bastide Rose to the Maison du Vin in Chateauneuf du Pape, the summer residence of the Popes when the papacy was based in Avignon.
The day began with a quick drive from the Bastide Rose to the Maison du Vin in Chateauneuf du Pape, the summer residence of the Popes when the papacy was based in Avignon.
We were met by Kelly McAuliffe our guide for the day. I had been expecting a California blonde but our Kelly resembled a linebacker for the Chicago Bears.
We were greeted by Thomas Bertrand who is responsible for direct sales of Maison Brotte wines for a tour that was informative and entertaining for both the novice and the veteran wine taster/drinker. We then sampled a white and a red before grabbing a bottle of their signature Fiola du Pape.
We made a quick stop at Chateau de la Gardineto collect Marion and several bottles of wine for a lunch/degustation at La Mère Germaine, a cantine for local winemakers. We were joined à table by Hortense COURTEAUX of the Féderation des Syndicats de Producteurs for a delightful lunch that began with a summery smoked salmon salad served with a 2012 Blanc that was round with hints of peaches and nectarines and a delightful finish.
With the Supreme de canette we drank the 2011 Immortelle that is made from whole bunches and not individual grapes. It was redolent of cherries and my favorite.
As we were leaving we bumped into the American importer John Junguent who was dining with Pierre Pastre of Chateau Fortia who invited us join him, if time permitted, after our visit to Vieux Tèlégraph to taste 3 unbottled wines from 2013.
Vieux Tèlegraph is one of the most prestigious domaines in the region. Having been a regular customer of Kermit Lynch I was familiar with a few of their wines but not the gamut that we tasted this day. We were joined by winemaker Daniel Brunier for a tasting that began with the Gigondas that they produce in partnership with Kermit Lynch and continuing through several Chateauneuf-du-Pape. The Nez (de Neuilly) was especially impressed with the Piedlong Rouge 2011 and LE CRAU Vieux Télégraph rouge.
In the early twentieth century Chateau Fortia came under the direction of Pierre Le Roy de Boiseaumarié. Baron Le Roy went on to be co-founder of the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine (INAO) and guided the creation of the Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) systemwhich is the basis of not only French wine laws but has also been influential in the laws and appellation systems around the globe.
It is currently being run by his son-in-law-Pierre Pastre who took over the reins from the baron’s sons who were incapable of running a successful business.