LVT 2017 r The highest vineyards in Gigondas, cool-textured wines, but recent gain in ripeness is notable, and good. Slightly shorter raising, and touches here and there from the daughters to make the wines more approachable, with finesse on the agenda. Since 2015-16 they have reduced the amount bottled on the classic Beaumes red from 90-105,000 to 30,000-75,000 bottles, the difference sold in bulk. This can only aid quality in that wine. Both 2014 Beaumes-de-Venise reds were STGT, four star wines, and both the 2015 and 2016 Gigondas reds were also **** wines. It was sad to learn of the sudden passing of Etienne de Menthon in July, 2017
LVT 2010 Muscat Longtime domaine with widespread vineyards south of Beaumes, notably Ventoux and Vin de Pays. Muscat has been good on and off over the decades since the 1970s, often marked by an apricot colour. The vineyards will be worked organically from the 2015 vintage.
LVT 2016 r 7-hectare domaine, organic since 2001. There are now three red Beaumes-de-Venises, all pretty authentic. The Fine Fleur Beaumes-de-Venise red was a ***(*) Burgundian take, New Wave wine in 2016 that I feel could have been bottled later. The Mendez also have a 5-person Gite for self catering.
LVT 2014 r Recent start-up, young vineyards, organic since 2013. Jérôme is the Mayor of Beaumes-de-Venise, a busy man. His parents were Members of the Cave de Beaumes-de-Venise, and worked on polyculture – apples, tomatoes, melons, table grapes, vines. The 2014 Beaumes-de-Venise red gave genuine Grenache, a ***(*) wine
LVT 2007 r A start-up, with father having worked in the gas industry. The Chiniards come from the centre of France and the Vosges. No herbicides, insecticides, synthetic products used. Hand harvesting. Natural, local wine.
LVT 2014 r Nicely full reds. Daniel is an ex-Co-operateur who started in 1991 with under 10 hectares in total – 7 ha of Muscat, 2 ha of Ventoux, 1 ha of Côtes du Rhône. Daniel is from La Roque-Alric, his wife Isabelle from Beaumes-de-Venise; the Muscat were his wife’s vines. Daniel actually started out in 1982, working en polyculture, including table grapes and nursery plants, cherries, apricots, asparagus, melon towards the sandy soils of Aubignan. He has no successor to the domaine.
LVT 2014 r 2007 wh Good quality wines - vineyards are high, so the wines contain good acidity and reward patience in the cellaring. Some STGT wines here. After the 2009 vintage, the 7.5 hectares of Gigondas vineyards were sold to a group that includes Château La Croix des Pins, a Ventoux producer at Mazan, and Didier Cornillon, whose family have a 15 hectare vineyard at Clairette de Die and Châtillon-en-Diois in the Southern Drôme Valley (in effect the south of the Northern Rhône). Domaine de Cassan will continue with Ventoux and Beaumes-de-Venise vineyards, run by the two Croset brothers, whose sister Marie-Odile is married to the ex-director of Cassan, Gérard Paillet.
LVT 2016 Muscat 2016 r Since December 2013 there are new owners, two brothers who dealt in fruit and vegetables from the nearby village of Aubignan, and also had a recycling of chemicals business in Lille. The brothers knew the area from coming up here for la chasse. The tired vineyard is being re-organised. There are 65 hectares of vines and 47 hectares of woods and scrubland. The potential is for a total of 84 hectares of vineyards. The offending painted beam that caused the cellar bacteria for so many years after being painted with xylophène (a woodworm and pesticide fluid) was sorted out after three months of treatments and cellar cleansing. Six hectares of Muscat were converted into Grenache, while Marsanne, Roussanne and Mourvèdre are being planted. The altitude in this beautiful quiet location runs from 280 to 400 metres. There is more heat at sunrise here than at Suzette, while the afternoons are fresher. There is also less wind that on the plain. Wild yeasts and some whole bunch fermentation on the old vine fruit are now also on the cellar agenda.
The Gigondas is stylish [the 2016 a ****(*) wine], as is the Beaumes-de-Venise Les Banquettes from old vine Grenache. The two Muscats are clear and attractive. A revival is very much happening now. The oenologue is Xavier Vignon [pictured, centre], with Jean de Feraudy and Olivier Pellaton, who joined in November 2017, having spent 11 years at the top domaine in Grignan, Domaine de Grangeneuve.
LVT 2017 r 2015 wh 2015 Muscat The Daddy domaine at Muscat, which has been finer in recent vintages. Easy going reds, deep and accomplished Muscat VDN. Steady, reliable Viognier vin de pays. A very likeable family with wines in that vein also.
LVT 2017 r 2017 wh 2011 rosé 2017 Muscat VDN Reds used to be rather leathery, extracted, but things have changed for the much better. The Beaumes-de-Venise Terres Blanches red is very consistent, often a **** wine, and STGT in 2010 and 2015. The estate is organic certified from the vintage 2012 onwards. The brothers have been working in biodynamic ways since 2011, and are now certificated. They also make a delicious Muscat grape juice ma muse by Fenouillet that is a whizz for breakfast.
LVT 2011 Musc 2015 wh 2016 r The benchmark name for Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise. Fragrance, harmony, tight features sought over power, strength. The Beaumes-de-Venise red [70% Grenache, 30% Syrah from Triassic soils] is a steady ***(*) wine, the 2015 and the 2016 both in tune with the style of the vintages. There is good Vacqueyras red (a **** 2015 and 2016, and ***** 2011) and Ventoux red also, the two 2015 Ventoux reds a ***(*) Les Sables and a **** Les 3 Coeurs. The white Vacqueyras was easy drinking, light wine, but the 2015 is very oaked.
LVT 2016 r 2017 Muscat, wh 2015 rosé Long-time very good Muscat source, intense, aromatic wine with character, as witnessed by the ****(*) delicious, striking 2016. Reds are whole bunch fermented, have character and STGT qualities, are only concrete vat raised, no oak. Andrew Hall was one of the first Englishmen to work in the Rhône, way back in the 1970s. Authentic wines, good integrity. The Côtes du Rhône Rosé des Balmes includes Grenache gris from the late 1940s, and is always full of character.
LVT 2017 r 2017 wh Pierre Brès’ family were always Co-operateurs until deciding to build their own cellar in 2002, with the help of son-in-law Sébastien Logvinenko. Pierre looks after the vines, Sébastien the vinification. Genuine Beaumes-de-Venise red - there are two cuvées - from organic vineyards, concrete vat raising. The La Rouyère is from their jewel, the Triassic vineyards at Suzette, and is a *** to ***(*) wine. There is a respectable Ventoux red and a little gentle Ventoux white from Le Barroux
LVT 2017 r 2011 rosé 2010 wh STGT leaning domaine, publicity shy, the vineyards organic. No Muscat de Beaumes, just red grapes, a little white. The Beaumes-de-Venise Cuvée Saint-Martin red wine is my preferred [it was a ****(*) STGT wine in 2016, a ****(*) STGT wine in 2015, and a **** STGT wine in 2014 - what a hat trick], along with a garrigue-endowed Côtes du Rhône Les Romanins red. Guy Jullien's first vintage was 1980; I remember his seemingly “wild” vinifications, and organic leaning from those days, when it was very unfashionable. His father Aimé created the cellar in 1964; he had worked on polyculture – fruit, vines, olives – but the frost of 1956 destroyed the olives, so after that the domaine was 65% vines. The first bottling came in 1964, early for the region. Better cellar equipment was introduced in 1996, and all the crop has been destemmed since then. Son Thomas started in 2006, and the wines under him are very drinkable. There is very low sulphur dioxide use, just a little at bottling. Thomas has a small merchant wines range, too; these trade as www.lesvinsdethomas.com
LVT 2014 Muscat 2012 r Corinne is the sister of Thiérry Vaute of Domaine La Pigeade. They also do bed and breakfast rooms. The first Beaumes-de-Venise red was the 2012, which was a thorough, VALUE **** wine. The Muscat, often ***(*), is vinified at the Cave de Gigondas, who sell most of the 16,000 bottle production.
LVT 2017 r 2017 Muscat r wh rosé The first vintage was 2017. Jérôme’s parents have a nursery vineyard business, his sister has a horse riding business next to the property. There are 8 hectares of Beaumes-de-Venise in red vineyards, and 2.5 hectares of Muscat, in which there are three colours, red, white and rosé. His wife Mandy is an artist, and has designed square 50 cl bottles for the Muscat that resemble perfume bottles. There is also a cosmetics range by her, and olive oil. The wines for now are vinified chez Laurent Cornud at Aubignan, an oenologue who has an outside vinification business. The 2017 Beaumes-de-Venise red was promising, a ***(*) wine with style and elegance. There is also a Vacqueyras red
LVT 2016 r The first vintage here was 2012. It's a name to note for those who like authentic, hand made wines. Frédéric Begouassel was previously a Co-operateur. His parents and grandparents worked with apricots, cherries, olives. His parents planted vines. His brother is Daniel Begouassel of Domaine de Beaumalric. 10 hectares of Beaumes-de-Venise, Ventoux and Vin de France spread across La Roque Alric and Suzette at Beaumes-de-Venise (6 ha), and at Le Barroux (Ventoux, 4 ha). Vineyards between 250 and 400 metres. They also make olive oil, and run two holiday lets. There are two Beaumes-de-Venise reds, one Ventoux red, and a Vin de France white. The Beaumes L’élémenterre red was a **** STGT wine in 2016. The Les Ocres de le Roque Beaumes red is the old vine wine. It was a ****(*) wine with great natural virtues in 2016. The style is traditional. The 2015 Ventoux Les Terres Rouges was a really good grass roots Ventoux, natural and well filled, **** wine. 60% of the production is sold in bulk, 40% bottled.
LVT 2016 r 2016 Muscat A domaine established in 2012. There are two Beaumes-de-Venise reds, Fernand the entry level, La Patronne the superior cuvée, a natural, enjoyably rich **** wine in 2015. There is also Ventoux, Muscat de Beaumes and Côtes du Rhône red. Hand made wines, hand harvested, authentic. There are also two holiday lets high in the hills.
LVT 2013 Muscat Ex Co-operateur
LVT 2016 r 2016 wh Stéphane’s last vintage as a member of the Cave de Beaumes-de-Venise was 2011; he started on the domaine in 1992, when his father worked 17 hectares, which included 2-3 ha of table grapes. Now it is 45 hectares, including 9 hectares of table grapes.
He is the sixteenth generation at Beaumes-de-Venise, the first to vinify their crop. His great-grandfather was President of the Olive Oil La Balméene Co-operative in 1925. He built a new cellar, cuverie in March 2012, when he issued his first wines.
The family makes solid quality Beaumes-de-Venise (5 ha, 4 ha Triassic soils), Vacqueyras (13 ha), Côtes du Rhône (4 ha), Ventoux (5 ha) reds. Also Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise (5 ha). The Vacqueyras Nos Générations red, half 1900s Grenache, half 1950s Syrah, was a genuine, stylish **** wine in 2015. The Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise Plaisir rosé is worth a try, the (NV, 2016) was ****.
70% of the harvest is bottled, 150,000 bottles across the various appellations, the rest [vin de pays and a bit of Côtes du Rhône] sold as Bag in the Box. The couple show at 50 Salons a year. Four generations are active on the domaine, including grandmother CHARLOTTE, aged 92.
LVT 2016 r 2017 wh 2012 rosé High altitude vines that are growing up now, notably the Viognier. Improving wines as a result. Stylish whites, real harmony. The Beaumes-de-Venise Grangeneuve red, from 500 metre vineyards above Suzette, respects its vintages well - the 2013 tight and rocky, the 2014 soft and squeezy, the 2016 wavy fruited, with mineral clarity, and an STGT wine. It can live for 10 to 15 years
LVT 2011 r Pierre Rougon’s father was a director of the Cave de Beaumes-de-Venise. Pierre has developed the domaine's bottled production and branched into a merchant business called Les Vins Pierre Rougon, across Vacqueyras, Gigondas, Ventoux, Côtes du Rhône. Fair quality.
LVT 2016 r 2017 Muscat wh Richard first made wine chez his oenologue Laurent Cornud in 2012, selling the wine in bulk. In 2016 he started to vinify in a cellar at Suzette, with 53 hl of Vacqueyras from his 1.63 ha there. 1,030 bottles were produced, the rest sold in bulk, due to lack of space for storage. He has 10 hectares, harvesting manual. The top two reds are the Beaumes-de-Venise and the Vacqueyras, the former a pretty genuine, local colour ***(*) in 2016, the latter a fat, garrigue wine, **** in 2016. The 2017 Muscat is an elegant, detailed **** wine. The wines all carry the Demoiselle Suzette tag. A name to note, therefore, with hand made wines. There is bed and breakfast also.
LVT 2016 r 2016 rosé 2016 Muscat 2015 wh This is now officially called Rhonéa after the fusion with the Cave de Vacqueyras. Wines up until 2014 still bore the Balma Venitia name, but by 2016 there has been just the one name, Rhonéa. The Cave de Beaumes wines have historically been superior to those of the Vacqueyras Cave. My daily wine when living in Aix-en-Provence from 1973 to 1975 was the plastic topped 1 litre bottle with a stars on its neck of Ventoux red [a refund of a centime or two on the empty bottles returned], so I have a long, rather wistful memory of this Co-operative. There is a new bottling chain since July 2017, with inert conditions and improved hygiene for that important part of the process.
I have often found these wines to be strong on alcohol, with edginess from extraction. 2010 and 2011 offered greater hope, likewise one or two 2014s, while the 2015 and 2016 vintages in Beaumes-de-Venise red show more genuine, better quality wines, including **** on the 2016 Terroir Daronton, and the **** STGT Confidence red. There are three reds that represent the local difference in soils, namely the Terres des Farisiens [grey Jurassic soils], Terres de Bel Air [chalky, limestone], and the top wine, with the Farisiens receiving longer raising, the Terres du Trias [ochre clay, gypsum, Triassic], the last named a **** STGT wine in 2015. The main Muscat [1348 on the front label], always a Non Vintage wine, is fair, not among the leaders as it once was. There is a decent Muscat NV 1348 rosé, while the oak-raised Muscat Bois Doré white is pretty good [**** in 2010, ****(*) in 2003, still available], a wine that ages well.
LVT 2015 wh 2014 r 2015 Muscat A good addition to the private ranks. Alain Ignace was the Director of the Cave de Beaumes-de-Venise for many years. He has an open, modern view. He started his domaine in 2011. There is stylish red Vacqueyras, with oak. The white is also elegant, with the 2015 Ô pré de Juliette Vacqueyras white a restrained ***(*) wine. There are three colours of Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, which include the presence of Muscat rouge. The Muscat de Beaumes de Venise Le Péché d’Émilie red was a **** wine in 2015. The wines are organic.
LVT 2012 r 2012 wh 2012 rosé A selling outlet, mainly export geared, for several Co-operatives, including Balma Venetia at Beaumes-de-Venise, Coteaux de Visan, Roaix-Séguret. La Coterie is their top of the range selection, featuring Beaumes-de-Venise, Gigondas, Châteauneuf-du-Pape etc. Sound to good Visan reds in 2012.