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Domaine de Trevallon, Vin de Pays des Alpilles Rouge, 2018

Red Wine from Other France, France
$83.99

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There's a trick to making great wine in Southern France: one splash of the North.

The South provides sun and warmth, ripeness and opulence. It offers the "garrigue" -- those herbes de provence that we love to inhale for a momentary vacation in the hills. The South is great.

But it's not enough. You need that cool-climate magic that permeates France's North.

Trevallon found their Northern magic. First, they planted Cabernet Sauvignon, the decidedly un-opulent, structured grape that we don't think of as Southern at all (though it was widely planted there before Phylloxera). They put those vines -- together with the more obvious Syrah -- on North-facing slopes for coolness.

And the soils themselves--deep and chalky--would look at home as far north as Champagne, and are perfect for bringing brightness and a northern edge to Provence's sunny wines.

It's not an obvious formula: a deep south domaine with Cabernet, limestone soils, and north-facing slopes. But it works and it was just the start of Trevallon's genius. They do everything right, and with devotion. The farming is all organic, with an emphasis on deep root penetration and low yields. The winemaking is decidedly natural and non-interventionist. Fermentations are whole cluster. Aging is virtually all in neutral foudres.

The wine is officially cult in France. It isn't at that level in the U.S., yet, though it certainly deserves to be and definitely has a fervent following that contact us regularly wondering where the new release is.

What importer Polaner Selections has to say about this wine...

VINTAGE 2018
BOTTLE SIZES 750 ML
COUNTRY France
REGION Provence
APPELLATION IGP Alpilles
WINE TYPE Red
VARIETALS Red Blend
VARIETAL NOTES
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Syrah
ORGANIC
Certified
VINEYARD
Thirty year old vines grown in the Trevallon Valley at the base of the rocky walls of the Alpilles mountain range.
SOIL
Limestone, very rocky.
VITICULTURE
Organically farmed. The Durbach family plows to encourage the roots of the vines to plunge deeper into the soil for water and nutrients, and they believe in pruning short, which not only reduces the yields but extends the life of the plant by 20 to 50 years.
VINIFICATION
Whole cluster, wild yeast fermentation. The wine undergoes regular punch-downs and pump-overs of the cap before extended aging.
AGING
Aged for 24 months in foudres.

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