LVT 2018 r 2015 wh This is part of the Boisset empire, established in the wonderful setting of the Abbey of Bonpas overlooking the Durance river, just south of the Avignon Sud autoroute exit. These have been hmm wines - in the past there was a very oaked Vacqueyras, but in 2016 a 10% only oaked Vacqueyras red called Grand Cartulaire was issued, the result being a **** from that excellent vintage; this has been followed with ***(*) wines in 2017 and 2018, so things are on the rise there. There is a sound to good Gigondas, the Sieur Alphonse red, with another Gigondas, the Grand Prieur **** in 2018 - an elegant, enjoyable wine. The Lubéron Bonpas blanc was a firm, fresh ***(*) wine in 2015. Improvement here is welcome.
LVT 2014 r Decent quality Co-operative, genuine wines
LVT 2015 r Co-operative at Sérignan du Comtat, where there are some good soils. They make a Vacqueyras red from Domaine Grandy, the 2015 a reasonable *** wine.
LVT 2012 r 2014 wh 2015 rosé Respectable reds, quite powerful. The best are the Gadagne reds from the recently promoted Village east of Avignon.
This is a coalition of Co-operatives that has accelerated in recent years. The three at the heart of the business are Le Thor (1925), Morières-lès-Avignon (1929) and Châteauneuf-de-Gadagne (1929). All lie just to the east of Avignon, with the Gadagne area promoted to Villages status in 2012.
The three joined forces with some foresight about how tough things could become, in 1992, using the title Coteaux d’Avignon. There was a leaning towards Ventoux and Côtes du Rhône. The Terres d’Avignon name was introduced in 2005.
The 260 original Co-operateurs have vineyards in the communes of Avignon, Caumont-sur-Durance, Montfavet, Morières-lès-Avignon, Châteauneuf-de-Gadagne, Jonquerettes, Saint-Saturnin-les-Avignon, Vedène and Le Thor. 550 hectares are appellation, 150 hectares Vin de Pays and Vin de Table.
It also takes in the Vignerons de Mazan Canteperdrix, founded in 1927, with 150 Co-operateurs working 1,000 hectares of which 70% comes out as Ventoux wines. Mazan has always been a good address for reliable Ventoux.
Another name selling these wines is DEMAZET Vignobles, based at the same address.
LVT 2010 r 2011 rosé 2014 wh Created 1936, 400 Co-operateurs covering 2,000 hectares; it has been in the shadow of Chantecôtes, its village neighbour, for my journalistic life. Produce Plan de Dieu and Massif d'Uchaux as well as a line of Côtes du Rhônes and Villages that vary according to depth - oaked, robust, fruited etc
LVT 2016 r 2015 rosé 2016 wh Decent Rochegude Villages red, a rare name, also Villages red. From the 2016 harvest there will be Suze-la-Rousse Villages - a named Village after its promotion from Côtes du Rhône. There is also sound Grignan-les-Adhémar red and white, with the 2016 Grignan Le Lutin white, 90% Vio, 10% Gren blanc, a cracking VALUE, w.o.w. **** wine
LVT 2018 rosé 2015 r 2014 wh Co-operative on the west bank between Avignon and Nîmes, not far from Tavel. Apart from the Côtes du Rhône range, they do a Laudun Villages, a Côtes du Rhône Villages, a Saint-Gervais Villages red, a Tavel and a Lirac. Quality is on the rise: the 2018 Tavel Domaine Les Hautes Roches was a **** STGT wine, while on the reds, the 2013 Villages Saint Vérédème red was a ***(*) wine, and the 2015 Saint-Gervais Le Clan des Loups red a **** STGT wine, neither mercifully oaked.
LVT 2016 r 2015 rosé 2015 wh Quality still an issue, has been over the 40+ years I have known it. Vast. However, some signs of live thanks to a range called Les Dauphins, and an encouraging Coteaux des Baronnies red in 2012. The Côtes du Rhône Les Dauphins Réserve range in three colours is sound.
LVT 2013 r
LVT 2015 wh 2014 r This is an organic, biodynamic domaine. I find improvement in the white, notably the ***(*) 2015 Jean 1930 Côtes du Rhône, made from Viognier. The Ignis Côtes du Rhône red gives free run red fruit from 50% Syrah, 50% Grenache. The Nelly 1930 red, from old Grenache, holds excellent quality Grenache, pure juice (as in 2014), but has to suffer from being raised in oak.
LVT 2011 r Mainly sold through merchant channels. Old vines, pumped-up winemaking
LVT 2016 r 2016 wh A quite extraordinary estate owned by the Reynaud family of Château Rayas. Natural, wonderfully long-lived, complex wines, red and white. Exceptional Syrah (examples 2011, 2014, 2016) that lives extremely well - over 25 years.
LVT 2014 wh 2015 r 2015 rosé Organic domaine, also make sound Signargues Villages. Decent white Côtes du Rhône (70% Roussanne)
LVT 2016 r 2015 rosé Owned by the Ch des Fines Roches family at Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and improved quality under the current generation. Good, consistent reds from good soils. There is now a Gadagne red [***(*) in 2015]
LVT 2015 r Jérome Margnat took over this old domaine in 2000. I remember it as a progressive estate in its infancy, under Jérome`s uncle Emile Bories, in the early 1970s, then it wandered off the radar. It is near Suze-la-Rousse, where there is plenty of woodland. Its production is all bottled – average of 1,500 hl of Côtes du Rhône and the same of Villages each year. Agreeably fruited wines that deliver pleasure.
LVT 2015 r 2012 wh 2012 rosé Large changes. Formerly traditional, rather rustic wines; since 2011 big new investment and an international outlook. 58 hectare domaine. The estate was bought in 2011 by Jean-Pierre & Florence Bedel from Bertrand Jestin. Their oenologue is Jean-Michel Novelle. They employ 2 in cellar oenologues Kristin Basson from South Africa and Claudia Gomez from Chile. A radical change of approach has been taken, with the emphasis now on producing IGP red, white and rosé with international names such as ALL WHITE and Dandy Black. These sell for around €17 in local high end shops. They are good, live well, and rather expensive.
LVT 2015 wh 2015 r A famous Château with an imposing style of architecture; I have known this estate since the early 1970s, via several changes of owner, its fortunes not always trending forwards, In the distant past it was a high volume enterprise, to the extent that it was the only decent red wine available to me and my fellow travellers when we were holed up for a week in a hotel in Paramaribo, Surinam, during a coup d'etat in the mid 1970s. The white style is New Wave, easy and soft. The 2015 M de Malijay Côtes du Rhône red was ***(*) wine. Signs of revival, I would say
LVT 2013 wh 2013 r 40 hectare domaine. Didier is vineyards, Brigitte winemaking. 1st bottling 2001, sold to merchants before. Now bottle the best. The couple also own an amusing old town house in Avignon which offers rooms and a garden restaurant. The red is overtly oaked, the white is solid in style, for la table.
LVT 2015 r 2015 wh Organic since 2007. Belgian owned since 1925, the Herberigs family. In those early days under Robert Herberigs, it was more apricots than vineyards. For 15 years the crop was sent to the Cave Co-operative of Bourg Saint-Andéol and to a merchant at Châteauneuf-du-Pape, before the cellars were built in the 1960s, and the domaine took off under Gilbert Herberigs. There are 30 hectares, half Côtes du Rhône, half Villages. The 2015 Côtes du Rhône red was a splendid, remarkable ****(*) w.o.w. wine, top of its class, while the unoaked 2015 Côtes du Rhône Villages was a bountiful **** wine.
LVT 2014 wh 2013 r Large domaine of 140 hectares, with wines that reflect that sort of scale
LVT 2013 r 2012 rosé 2012 wh A most interesting 8 hectare domaine - mountain wines of great character. Elodie's father Pierre Aubert would send his crop to Cave La Romaine before the domaine was started in 2007. Elodie vinifies the red wine, Raphaël the white and the rosé – a neat Rhône, Loire (he is from Anjou) dealing of the cards.
Half the vines were planted by Elodie’s grandmother in 1956 – that was the year when olive, almond and apricot trees were killed in the frost. They now work 8 hectares of vineyards, 3 hectares of apricots and 1 hectare of olives (La Tanche). No chemical fertilizers have been used since the late 1990s, and no weedkillers for longer. They also keep young goats and raise lambs for the restaurant trade.
LVT 2010 r wh Exotic domaine, very motivated Questor at the helm. Lots of different small run wines, with character. Low suplhur use in the current fashion.
LVT 2013 r 2014 wh Small scale producers of Séguret (red, white), Sablet and Côtes du Rhône
LVT 2015 wh 2015 rosé 2016 r This is the same business as TERRES D'AVIGNON. The wines are sound, especially given the scale of the operation - 180,000 bottles of the Côtes du Rhône Réserve des Armoiries red, for instance.
Demazet is the result of the fusion in July 2015 of two Co-operatives, that of Terres d’Avignon centred at Morières-lès-Avignon and featuring Gadagne Côtes du Rhône Villages as the standard bearer at the top of the range, and that of Les Vignerons de Mazan, a good village in Ventoux. The Gadagne Côtes du Rhône Villages Château Quilex red is a good, lusty wine from its hot vineyards, and gives genuine drinking. The 2015 Côtes du Rhône Villages Réserve des Armoiries Comte de Galléan red was a **** STGT wine that captured its sense of place very well.
245 Co-operateurs work 1,400 hectares. Production runs at around 71,000 hl. Bottling of the Ventoux is at Morières-lès-Avignon. Côtes du Rhône Villages, Côtes du Rhône and IGP wines are made. The Cante Perdrix Ventoux white is a little better than the red.
LVT 2015 wh an agency that sources wines mainly for export, one of the suppliers being the Vignerons d'Estezargues
LVT 2010 r First bottling in 1999. Working with Rune Elkjaer, a Danish importer based in Villeneuve-les-Avignon, and quality due to rise
LVT 2007 r
LVT 2016 wh 2016 r Organic domaine, with definite promise as a newcomer. High quantity of red Côtes du Rhône in bottle, as well - over 60,000 bottles. There is a rugged side to the Côtes du Rhône Les Phacélies red, which is 40% Carignan (1960s). The 2016 Côtes du Rhône reds are extremely good, the Terres de Cabassole an excellent ****(*) 1960s Grenache wine, the Style red a **** w.o.w. wine
LVT 2012 r 2010 wh Young grower whose father was part of the Cave Co-operative of Bourg Saint-Andéol. The first wine was made in 1996. Reasoned working of the vineyard. 30% is bottled. Sound quality, some local feel, and quiet winemaking encourages w.o.w. attributes. All the 2008s were sold in bulk.
LVT 2010 r Recent domaine, work to do.
LVT 2007 r Young woman who has made local headlines from promoting the cause of young winegrowers - President of the Young Agriculteurs of the Vaucluse in 2008. Newcomer to wine.
LVT 2006 r Unusual position west of Laudun in the Tave Valley, with altitude to help freshness in the wines. Extraction appears present in the Côtes du Rhône Léa red, but worth keeping an eye on this 21-hectare domaine that was started by M Givaudan, an ex Co-operateur at Cavillargues, in 2000. Oldest Grenache (1920s) planted by his grandfather. trt
LVT 2007 r Easy drinking wines, drink young for the most part
LVT 2014 wh 2012 r Good white and sound Villages red
LVT 2018 r 2017 wh 2011 rosé Started in 2005, father Roger sent crop to the Cellier des Princes Co-operative at Courthézon. Julien planted and bought vineyards from 1998, and added to his father's 2 hectares of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and 2 hectares of vin de pays. There are now 4 hectares of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and 4 hectares of Côtes du Rhône, with 17 hectares in Vin de France. Julien also grows 50 hectares of sunflowers and wheat. The domaine has been organic since 2012, and biodynamic since 2015. Burgundy is his inspiration, after studies at Beaune, and the wines are elegant and full at the same time. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape white Font de Crau is a full-bodied table wine of character, a **** wine in 2016, even with the vines being young. This is an address to note.
LVT 2015 r 2015 wh 2015 rosé Gradual improvement after the son returned from 10 years as cellarmaster at Tavel's Domaine de la Mordorée. Excess raising has been an issue. Bottlings done upon demand, so several per annum. Have been bottling since the 1970s. The Côtes du Rhône Élégance rosé really hit the mark in 2015, a w.o.w. wine.
LVT 2011 r 2012 wh 2011 rosé Fleshy wines from the Gard area west of the River opposite Avignon. Best red is Villages Bois de Brignon. Good Roussanne white. Aure is the Provencal word for wind, and this domaine is set in windy, open spaces in the right bank Gard département. The first vinification was 2005 in a brand new cellar; until 2004 the crop was all sent to the Co-operative of St Hilaire d’Ozilhon. Vivian’s grandfather started with 10 hectares, in the days of polyculture – a lot of olives, with apricots table grapes and cherries, and a flock of sheep, which lasted until 1975, after which vines became the sole activity. Vivian’s father Michel started on the domaine in 1961, and by 1980 had enlarged it to the current 45 hectare vineyards, which sit in a 50 hectare circle around the domaine and its cellars Michel started on the domaine in 1961, and by 1980 had enlarged it to the current 45 hectare vineyards, which sit in a 50 hectare circle around the domaine. It is part of Terra Vitis, meaning reasoned use of applications in the vineyard.
LVT 2009 r 2010 wh rosé Good M-G-S Villages, also Syrah Villages
LVT 2018 r Carlo started in 2018 with the working of vineyards at Sabran in the Gard. An Italian engineer-chemist working in the petro chemical industry until his conversion to vigneron, he bought 1.2 hectares, then a further 0.8 hectare on sandy terraces, and signed for another 2 hectares in spring 2019. Born in 1980, his wife is French, and he still lives near Lyon. His studies took in Turin, Lyon [where he met his wife], and Beaune, where he did a course. In 2018 he vinified his harvest at the top notch, biodynamic Côtes du Rhône estate of Mas de Libian. The 2018 Côtes du Rhône Ciaüla red was a good first effort, a genuine ***(*) wine based on 1970s Grenache pruned in Gobelet.
LVT 2015 wh 2015 r This is an interesting recent start-up with vineyards 10 minutes from the centre of Avignon. The name is a play on the River Rhône and Durance, which meet south of Avignon near the Bonpas Priory. Jean-Luc’s grandfather Francis grew vines across 7 hectares at Morières, planting them in 1925-1930. Jean-Luc was an environmental engineer, between 1992 and 2006, eventually running a department of 250 people. He resigned in 2006 at the age of 36, in pursuit of his wine dream.
The first vinification was in 2010, from 10 hectares. Another 14 hectares of higher quality vineyards were added in April 2012 with the purchase of the Domaine Saint-Justin, a continuation of their original 10 hectares at Morières-les-Avignon. Organic practices since 2006, officially so since 2012. For now, the wines are vinified at Beaumes-de-Venise under the eye of their oenologue Laurent Cornu. Genuine Papal wine. Both red and white are good.
LVT 2016 wh 2015 r Philippe Granier is the fourth generation at this organic domaine, officially organic since 2012. His great grandfather planted the vineyards at Tulette in the 1920s, Grenache and Carignan, around 5 hectares. His father Pierre expanded it to 12 hectares today. He was a Co-operateur at the Cave Costebelle of Tulette until 1995, when he built his cellar. There are 35 plots across different soils; they are mainly clay-limestone, one-third, with galet stone soils above quite rich brown-black clay on the Tulette plateau along the line of the Aygues River. One plot has fine sands. The first vintage bottled was 1997-98. Now just 5% is sold in bulk. The wines have good, genuine depth, and reflect the hand made work of a small family domaine.
LVT 2006 r Organic. Also produces Olive oil from Nyons from the Tanche variety, planted after the 1956 frosts by his grandfather
LVT 2012 r Easy drinking classic Côtes du Rhône red. A right bank, Gard, estate close to Avignon
LVT 2010 r Organic since 1973, a west bank estate of about 20 hectares. Worth a second look.
LVT 2015 r 2014 wh 2011 rosé Supple wines. Son Luc arrived on the estate in Sept 2011, having done his bts at Beaune, and worked in New Zealand and California. He and brother Rémi now run the estate. It has been organic from the 2014 vintage, their 2014 Lou Pitchoun Côtes du Rhône red very drinkable and enjoyable, a w.o.w. wine.
LVT 2011 wh
LVT 2015 r Long been a good, secure source for robust Gardois Côtes du Rhône and Signargues. The ****(*) 2015 Signargues red was an admirable wine of passion, a fest of herbes de Provence, STGT and VALUE. Good 100% Carignan called C fermented by carbonic maceration
LVT 2017 r 2012 wh Also make a Plan de Dieu, and small amounts of Gigondas. Extraction an issue. Traditional style; the Plan de Dieu Divins Galets red was ***(*) in 2015, with local colour. Ghislain Guige started his career as caviste at Château Mont-Redon.
LVT 2012 rosé 2013 r Good address, genuine wines
LVT 2010 r Easy fruited wine from the Ardèche, cheap, too.
LVT 2011 r Also do CdRh Villages; good value
LVT 2015 wh 2015 r Organic since 2001, with son Pierre on the biodynamic trail now. The Côtes du Rhône Syraphaël red is an unusual blend of 95% Syrah and 5% Viognier, ***(*) in 2015, while the 2015 Visan red was a grounded and thorough **** wine when tasted pre-bottling
LVT 2013 r 2014 wh Good, hearty reds, their names based on plays or liaisons of the playwright Molière who stayed in Montfrin when a young man. Only around 20% of their production is bottled, the rest to the likes of Ogier and Guigal.
LVT 2015 r Has been an organic vineyard since 1978. Some altitude here: Pierre Arnaud is Mayor of Villedieu, his son Martial has worked in Marlborough, NZ. Definite promise. Also make a Villages and a Vacqueyras, and sell olives, olive oil and have a gîte to stay in, a converted cabanon. Samuel has come into the domaine with experience as an electronic engineer, and the brothers have been working together since 2013.
LVT 2015 r 2015 wh 2015 rosé Modern, oaked wines from a keen owner, also Rasteau that is modern, deep, good quality. The Côtes du Rhône Confidence white is stylish, ***(*) in both 2014 and 2015. The wines are organic.
LVT 2011 r Old family domaine, organic. Make Côtes du Rhône and Villages reds from 12 hectares. Olive oil also produced.
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh A longstanding organic domaine, a real pace setter for refined quality in the 1980s. It's been officially biodynamic since 2007. There is great fruit purity when the wines are in good condition. Very little sulphur use. Good amount of w.o.w. wines. Highly recommended. Many of the 2017 and 2018 reds were ****, the Valréas L'Elementaire red an STGT wine in 2017; its last vintage was 2018, after which the five hectare vineyard was sold. I always enjoy the simple purity and finesse of the Côtes du Rhône Poignée des Raisins red. Due to hail and mildew, there was no Vinsobres produced in 2018. The top 2018, when all the wines were issued as Côtes du Rhône, was the ****(*) La Mémé Ceps Centenaires à Gramenon red from early 1900s Grenache, a wine that will live and evolve well; the 2019 also held fruit dazzle, was a classy ****(*) wine as well, top of the form. In 2019 a wine from a two hectare vineyard on stony limestone soils at Taulignan, La Belle Sortie, was introduced. From 2018 all cuvées have been Côtes du Rhône.
LVT 2017 r 2016 wh A collaboration between four people; Patrick Bernard, formerly a stone mason, is the son of a vigneron, his partner Gina Cordet the daughter of the village baker at the attractive village of Taulignan in the southern Drôme. The vineyards stand at around 300 metres, and the wines are natural, generally unforced bar incursions into unnecessary oaking on three of the reds, the Sous les Cyprès most notably. There are two sound whites, a Clairette and a Roussanne. The domaine was set up in 2005, with the the help and participation of Claire-Lise and Charles, wine enthusiast friends. The 12 hectares of vineyards are mainly clay-limestone, with pockets of sand and sandstone. They have been organic since 2010, officially so since 2013.
LVT 2011 wh 2014 r Have been vinifying since 1980, the wine sold in bulk to merchants. Son Fabien started on the domaine in 2009, has worked in New World wineries. Now organic, and they have dropped the word Saint from before the Julien. A bit of extraction noted, but the raw goods are sound, the 2014 Côtes du Rhône Plaisir a success.
LVT 2012 r Created in 2010 by Patrice Lardenois. 3 hectares split between Tulette and Cairanne. There are 3,500 to 7,500 bottles a year, of which 500 are rosé. The red VV is a little worked on. It has been vinified at L’Ameillaud in Cairanne.
LVT 2011 rosé 2010 wh 2009 r Philippe Brun started to make his own wine in 2007, having had it made chez outside contractor Lavau from 1999 to 2006. He is related to the Perrin family of Beaucastel – his grandmother was a sister of Jacques Perrin, the father of François Perrin. The domaine is mainly Côtes du Rhône (15 hectares, only a little bottled), with Tavel from a 0.84 hectare plot there, the Tavel vinified at Domaine Lafond Roc-Epine. The large part of the crop, from around 12 hectares, is sent to the Cave de Puyméras. Yields are low, around 24 hl/ha. Since 2012 the wines have been officially organic. 98% sold to private customers in France, through Salons.
LVT 2012 r 2010 wh rosé Gilles Gasq used to work with Paul Jeune at Domaine de Monpertuis until Monsieur Jeune soild or rented out that estate. He created his domaine in April 2001. He now works 16 hectares at Travaillan. Very enthusiastic indeed. Will do well. Good, authentic Côtes du Rhône.
LVT 2015 wh 2015 r 5th generation organic domaine on the right bank; it worked as a mixed enterprise, including fruit, vegetables and cereals. Soils are worked. Côtes du Rhône and Villages wines. Modest so far.
LVT 2015 r 2016 wh 2010 rosé Absolutely benchmark Côtes du Rhône domaine in the Gard département (right bank). Rémy's father François arrived from Morocco in 1961, and the tradition of good wine here is a long one. The 2015 Côtes du Rhône Villages Les Églantiers red was a firmly spinal **** wine, needing time. Very good whites, too, the 2016 Côtes du Rhône Les Arbousiers white a **** w.o.w. wine.
LVT 2019 r 2019 rosé This good 17 hectare domaine, a mix of Côtes du Rhône and Vin de France, runs a restaurant-bar between July and September, open at lunch and in the evenings. It has been organic since the mid-1970s. Until 2000 the family sent their crop to the Cave de Puyméras and the Cave de Villedieu. The wines are clear, pure, derived from their fresh, high vineyards. They have good character and individuality. The Côtes du Rhône Gaïa red shows what can be achieved with Southern Rhône Syrah if it grows in cool soils at altitude, clay-limestone at 350 metres on La Buissière at Faucon, the vines dating from the early 1970s. The 2018, despite the very hot summer, was supple, flowing and balanced, a **** wine. The Vin de France petit Jo red, half Grenache, half Syrah, is aromatic, has character. There is only simple vat raising, no fining nor filtration, and low levels of SO2.
LVT 2014 r Micro vineyards for Côtes du Rhône and Plan de Dieu. Organic practices
LVT 2011 r Aiming to be progressive
LVT 2015 r 2015 wh 2012 rosé Dirk Vermeersch is an ex racing driver, and it shows! The titles of the wines are petrol head related, and at times the feeling is that the extraction is, too. These are deliberately big wines, with the cellar and the marketing prominent. Since the early 2010s there has been an easing of approach in the cellar, which has made the wines more enjoyable. Interesting Carignan vin de pays, GT-C.
LVT 2006 r Long-time bottler of good, authentic, punchy Côtes du Rhône at Tulette, in the southern Drôme near Visan
LVT 2010 r Traditional, hearty style wines. A domiane that has enlarged to 118 hectares, and includes 5.5 hectares of Rasteau recently added.
LVT 2010 r 2011 rosé 2010 wh Oak and "bigness" by design
LVT 2013 r 2012 wh 2012 rosé Very traditional, sometimes punchy. Reds much better than the other colours, notably the Plan de Dieu. Concrete vat raising, which in some cases can last well over four years. Only 20% of the production is bottled.
LVT 2009 r 2010 wh The reds are agreeable, show the relaxed style of the southern Ardèche. Expect charm, tender qualities.
LVT 2015 r 2012 wh Also do bed and breakfast, chambres d'hôte. 60 hectares, converted to organic in 2009-10. Promising, both red and white wines. Raphaël Pommier is the 7th generation on the land. Maison Ogier first worked with the estate in 2004 and sell all the wine outside cellar door sales.
LVT 2010 r Fourth generation of viticulteurs at Tulette; his father Roger was at the cave de Tulette; Pascal left the Cave les Coteaux of Visan in 2002. Organic since 2008; he also sells crop to the Famille Perrin. Full, genuine wines
LVT 2012 r 2015 rosé Jean-Marc Espinasse used to work in wine sales for 15 years. His uncle is Monsieur Jean-Claude Vidal of the very traditional Domaine du Banneret at Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The first vintage was 2007, and the approach was organic, with some (not officially registered) biodynamic practices. His wife Kristin is American, and is a writer. The wines were made in a relaxed manner, the fruit clear and striking. There were many sales to the USA. The 2012 Côtes du Rhône Mistral red, 70% from 1930s Grenache, was an excellent STGT **** wine.
Jean-Marc sold the domaine in 2015 and is now living in the South of France. The current winemaker is Australian Caroline Jones, aided by Thomas Bertrand.
LVT 2011 r Sound leading red Les Albizzias, local quality, quite funky approach
LVT 2018 r 2015 wh Hearty wines. The 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was a full and delicious ****(*) wine, while the 2015 white, based on Clairette, was also a lovely length ****(*) wine
LVT 2007 r Near Avignon, a domaine in tis family since 1889. Correct fruit in the classic Côtes du Rhône
LVT 2015 r 2015 wh Rune Elkjaer was an importer in Denmark, enthused by the Rhône. He went to live in the south near Avignon around 2010, and produces wine with a grape buying arrangement from the Domaine Barbanot near Vaison-la-Romaine. His plain label Côtes du Rhône (the other has a man in a red hat on the label) was ***(*) in 2012, *** in 2014. It is made from 50 year Grenache and 80 year Carignan. There is a wholesome Vin de France white, made from Clairette, a *** wine in 2015, and an interesting, punchy Vin de France Mourvèdre, first made in 2015
LVT 2015 r 2014 wh 2016 rosé West bank merchant, signs of progress. Have two decent, slightly worked on Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds; the Granges des Papes was a good **** wine in 2015, as was the Grande Gardiole. There is a good Tavel, Les Combelles, the 2015 a ****(*) STGT wine, while the 2015 Côtes du Rhône Villages Les Combelles red was a ***(*) VALUE wine.
LVT 2015 r Modest Côtes du Rhône red
LVT 2018 r 2015 wh 2018 rosé Merchant who also supplies space for small growers to vinify at their premises between Violès and Cairanne. There has been investment in vineyards, with a controlling role in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Château Maucoil. Quality is on the up - Gigondas, for instance [the 2015, 2016 and 2017 ***(*) wines]. The limited production 2015 Côtes du Rhône Domaine de Carmignan red was ***(*)
LVT 2010 r Country, traditional wine. Just a little bottled from 4-5 hectares, about 5,000 bottles
LVT 2009 r 2010 wh One of the welcome new breed of newcomer growers seeking pure fruit, and natural winemaking. The first wine was 2006. Jérôme doubles as a Physical Education teacher at a Lycée in Orange. His father was a Norman, producer of Calvados and apple juice. Officially organic from the 2011 vintage, and is a biodynamic domaine. Fresh, lucid wines are a million miles from the jammy, pumped up productions so often found these days. These pure wines have some rigour in them.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2018 rosé This is a biodynamic right bank domaine, high profile due to the stylish Hélene being red-hot on marketing, and the wines offering full flavours, racy fruit, acting as an inspiration for local orgasnic growers. They have eased off the extraction recently, a good move. Low yields, all bottled. Wines with plenty of character. 2018, with its immediate fruit, is a vintage that suits the philosophy well here. There is good use of the Mourvèdre in the Vin de France Vin de Pétanque de Libian, the 2018 a ***(*) w.o.w. wine. The vineyards are worked by horse, with Bambi taking over from Nestor, who died aged 18 in 2018.. Son Aurélien  came to work on the domaine in 2017.
LVT 2012 r
LVT 2012 rosé 2012 r Hmm
LVT 2015 r 2015 rosé 2015 wh I have always liked the whites, aided by the cool altitude here. Reds variable. There is an organic Côtes du Rhône range under the title Les Grappes d’Antan, with the 2015 blanc a ***(*) wine
LVT 2013 r Part of the Cellier des Dauphins
LVT 2010 r 2011 wh Recent merchant business, with wines from Gigondas, Vacqueyras and Châteauneuf-du-Pape as well. Oak cask raising in the Aveyron, central France, near the cheese area of Roquefort. The couple now have 4 hectares at Sablet, under the name Château Cohola - see Sablet for that.
LVT 2013 r
LVT 2015 r 2012 rosé Patrice Chevalier’s family were polyculteurs – growing cherries, apricots, vines. In 1994, when he was 21, he took over about 10 hectares of vineyards. The domaine is in the Quartier de Paupera, named after its poor soils. The first bottled wine was the 2000. It is all bottled now, around 38-40,000 bottles a year.
North-north-west of Vaison-la-Romaine, Mas Poupéras is a very good example of what the best, hand-made Côtes du Rhônes can offer, especially the clarity of fruit and the drinkability with all-important local garrigue touches present - when taking out his apricot trees, Patrice ensured that his vineyards plots were small, with pine and scrub vegetation around them.
LVT 2012 r 2009 wh 2007 rosé Matthieu was 40 in 2017. He made his first wine in 2006. He works organically. He uses limited SO2. Very talented, well off the beaten track
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh 2012 rosé First vintage 2006. Maxime-Francois is the son of the owner of Domaine Gramenon, a leading light in organic Côtes du Rhône. There is a cracking rosé and a good Visan red called Orpiment. The Côtes du Rhône il fait soif red is stimulating, as in 2015, and expressive in 2018. The Côtes du Rhône La Rubiconde carries old vine Grenache intensity, the 2018 a ***(*) wine. One or two of the 2019s showed extraction.
Two additions were made in 2019: a Rousset-les-Vignes Côtes du Rhône Villages red, which is a rarity given there are just three stand alone domaines there, one of them for sale; it is a very late ripening vineyard, but blessed with 1930s Grenache. The harvest is purchased, and the 2019 was a sound, structured ***(*) wine in need of time. Another purchased harvest wine was the Côtes du Rhône Pantomime white, half Grenache blanc, half Bourboulenc from sandy soils near Domaine Gramenon. Steel vat handled, it was a ripe, sympa ***(*) table wine in 2019.
LVT 2015 r Part of the Marie Brizard Group; merchants in Southern Rhône, Provence and Languedoc wines.
LVT 2010 r A rather marginal Co-operative for years, some efforts being made to upgrade quality. In the Gard département across the river west of Avignon.
LVT 2007 r Patrick Lesec is a merchant living west of Avignon. He selects and raises wines, and thse are sold under the title Patrick Lesec Selections in the southern Rhône. The Côtes du Rhône and Villages category wines are good. In the northern Rhône, he works with Coursodon at Saint-Joseph and Domaine des Remizières at Crozes-Hermitage. He favours plenty of oak use and low sulphur vinifications. There are no sales direct to the public, and he is a big name in the USA.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2015 rosé Négociant business started late 1987, lot of sales to cavistes in Paris. Olivier Ravoire is the Rhône wine name on the labels. Half of all their wine has been Provence rosé, but the Rhône element is growing, with wines such as Costières de Nîmes red (40,000 b, an authentic ***(*) in 2015) and Ventoux red (67,000 b) added from the Domaine du Bolchet and the Domaine La Gardette respectiavly. There is stout style in the main reds such as Gigondas, also a recently added Rasteau red, and a Côte-Rôtie (2015 was ****, pre-bottling). The Châteauneuf-du-Pape red was **** wine in both 2014 and 2016, and ****(*) in 2018 - appealing waves of fruit, very good structure.
LVT 2016 r A sound ***(*) 2016 Gigondas was my firrst encounter with this house. It is a merchant business created in 2003. In the southern Rhône, they do a lot of Plan de Dieu Côtes du Rhône Villages, Sablet Côtes du Rhône Villages, also Vacqueyras and Saint-Joseph from the northern Rhône [that is mostly sold in France].
LVT 2015 rosé 2015 wh 2015 r Fusion of Co-operatives finding life tough: Les Vignerons de Calvisson (30420), Les Vignerons d’Ozilhan (30210), Les Vignerons de Générac (30510). Process started in 2006. St Hilaire d'Ozilhan is the main name, with sound wines. There are a white and red Laudun from Domaine Allégret - the 2015 white a *** wine
LVT 2014 r From a fresh zone, hand made feel
LVT 2018 r 2018 rosé This enterprise is the old La Compagnie Rhodanienne, and reflects a slightly changed remit. It looks after privately owned domaines, either the full scale from vineyard to cellar to bottle, or parts of that route. The quality is steady, sound, with the 2016 Costières de Nîmes Château des Sources red and the 2016 Duché d’Uzes Domaine Villessèche red both *** wines, the latter notable for ease of drinking and spiced appeal. Among the several Côtes du Rhône reds, one stands out, the Château de Cheylus Cuvée Elin, a 100% Syrah from gneiss soils, oak raised: it was ***(*) in 2015 and 2018.
There is an organic range developing, witnessed by the very correct Visan Domaine Notre Dame. The two Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds are both 65% Syrah from the northern sector, both concrete vat raised. The Château de la Grande Gardiole is made from older vines than Les Combelles, and was an aromatic, well rounded **** wine in 2018.
LVT 2011 r 2011 wh 2012 rosé Now organic. Ex Co-operateur from Saint-Hilaire d’Ozilhan. Alain came to the Rhône in the early 1980s and bought the domaine, then with 32 hectares, in 1992. His son Frédéric joined the domaine in 2000, having had his own Public Relations company in Paris. Alain sorted out the vineyard, and said to his son, “you do the rest.” Also have 3 hectares of olives. 40% is bottled (2007). The wines are cleanly-fruited. Have added a Châteauneuf-du-Pape red to the range, rather cellar-worked it is.
LVT 2010 r Merchant business, 2 partners with a Paris-Burgundy base. Also do Provence rosé, Crozes-Hermitage Maison Juliette Amat, and Burgundies.