Category Archives: Provence

Mas de Valériole

Mas de Valériole’s vineyards, which today comprise 32 of their 45 hectares, encompass a variety of soil types: sand, clay, limestone, and alluvial loam deposited by the Grand Rhône. A reliably steady wind blowing in from the Mediterranean mitigates the Provence heat, facilitating their chemical-free approach to farming and ensuring modest alcohol levels for the wines. Produced from a variety of cépages, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, plus crossings like Caladoc (Grenache and Malbec) and Marselan (Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon) which are particularly well-suited to the Camargue’s climate, Mas de Valériole’s wines combine the breezy freshness one expects from Provence with a sense of wildness and an underlying salinity that is very Camarguais.

Core Wines…

Mas de Valériole “Charmentin” Terre de Camargue Blanc

Mas de Valériole “Vé” IGP Mediterranée Rosé

Mas de Valériole “Grand Mar” Terre de Camargue Rosé

Château les Mesclances

Located in La Crau just 3km from the Mediterranean Sea, Château Les Mesclances has 30 hectares of vines in the Côtes de Provence, including the sub-appellation of La Londe and its schist-based terroir. In the same family since the 16th Century, the estate has long practiced organic viticulture and was certified in 2020, and counter to the trend in Provence, their wines are 100% from estate fruit. Winemaking here is traditional, with indigenous fermentations, rosés that see as much as 8 hours of skin contact, and a hands-off approach.

Core Wines…

Château Les Mesclances “Charmes” IGP Méditerranée Rosé

Château Les Mesclances “Romane” Côtes de Provence Rosé

Château Les Mesclances “Faustine” Côtes de Provence La Londe Rosé

Domaine Gavoty

Roselyn Gavoty is the 8th generation of her family to run this historic domaine. A whole-agriculture estate, the domaine is made up of 50 hectares of vines and 60 devoted to orchards, field crops, and goats, with all work being organic (certified) and natural. The rosés of Gavoty are made in the traditional style of Provence— that is to say, they are more extracted than the as-pale-as-possible, mass-produced rosés that seem to strive more for a specific color palette than any depth to the wine’s actual flavor, structure, or character.

Core Wines…

Domaine Gavoty “La Cigale” Vin de Pay du Var Rosé

Domaine Gavoty “Récital” Côtes de Provence Rosé

Domaine Gavoty Grand Classique” Côtes de Provence Rosé

Domaine Gavoty “Cuvée Clarendon” Côtes de Provence Rosé

Domaine du Bagnol

Situated steps from the Mediterranean in the Provençal fishing village of Cassis, the Domaine du Bagnol controls 17 ha of vines (9ha leased, 8 ha owned) beneath the imposing limestone outcropping of Cap Canaille. Thus situated, the Domaine du Bagnol is the beneficiary of cooling winds from the north, northwest, and northeast (Tramontane, Mistral and Grégal), along with the gentle sea breezes that come ashore, ensuring wines of freshness and balance. Rosenthal’s love affair with this estate began in the early 1980s when Neal first met Claire Lefevre, with whom he worked until her passing in the early 1990s. Sadly, none of her family had the time or energy to follow in her footsteps. Purchased by Jean-Louis Genovesi, a Cassis native who had been living in Paris. With his son, Sébastien, Jean-Louis has revived the domaine and made the wines more compelling than ever.

Core Wines…

Domaine du Bagnol Cassis Blanc

Domaine du Bagnol Cassis Rosé

Domaine du Bagnol Cassis Rouge

Château Simone

Located just south of Aix-en-Provence, Château Simone is set on twenty hectares of vineyards on limestone terroir. The special microclimate of this appellation is influenced by the encircling pine forests, the mass of Mont Sainte-Victoire, and the Arc River. The vineyards were reconstituted after the invasion of phylloxera and many vines are over a century old. The Rougiers maintain the particular vinification methods developed and cherished over many decades. All of the grapes are hand harvested, destemmed, lightly pressed and fermented for 15 to 20 days in small wooden vats with only wild yeast, then put into small foudre to rest on the lees. The white is predominantly Clairette, with small amounts of Grenache Blanc and Ugni Blanc, and a dash of Bourboulenc, Muscat Blanc, Picpoul, Furmint and Sémillon. Fermentation takes place at a relatively warm 68 degrees and aged for one year in 20–30 hl casks then one year in older barrels. The red is an elegant wine of great depth composed of Grenache and Mourvèdre and small additions of Cinsault, Syrah, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Castet, Manosquin, Théoulier, Tibouren, Picpoul Noir and Muscat de Hambourg. The rosé is the exact same blend.

Core Wines…

Château Simone Pallette Blanc

Château Simone Pallette Rosé

Château Simone Pallette Rouge

Château Pradeaux

Château Pradeaux is the unique, inimitable, standard bearer for the ancient wine-growing district of Bandol. The estate has been in the hands of the Portalis family since before the French Revolution. In fact, Jean-Marie-Etienne Portalis, who inherited the estate in 1752, helped draft the Napoleonic Code and assisted at the negotiation of the Concordat under Napoleon the First. The estate was devastated during the French Revolution and suffered the effects of the phylloxera epidemic in the 19th century. Suzanne Portalis and her daughter, Arlette, retreated to the domaine during World War II and undertook to revive the it. The domaine is currently under the direction of Cyrille Portalis, the sole direct descendant of Suzanne and Arlette. He continues to maintain the great traditions of this estate and is assisted by his wife, Magali, and now his two sons, Etienne and Edouard. The vineyards are cultivated in as natural a manner as possible with reliance on organic methods. In fact, for many years during the spring months sheep grazed in the vineyards thereby eliminating any need to use herbicides and at the same time providing a natural compost. The wines of Pradeaux are brooding and difficult. Produced on the back of the noble Mourvèdre, Pradeaux in its youthful stages is tannic, backward and sometimes ornery. The wines are not destemmed; élevage in large oak foudres can last as long as four years. Only vines of more than 25 years of age used for the reds.

Core Wines…

Château Pradeaux Bandol Rouge

Château Pradeaux Bandol Rosé

Château Pradeaux Côtes de Provence Rosé