LVT 2017 r 2015 wh 2015 rosé Large Cave Co-operative that has turned out robust wines over the years, in the middle league. Belts were tightened with the departure of their talented openologue in 2015, not replaced. In 2015, cost cutting led to a fusion (Ortas the senior partner) with the Cave les Coteaux de Visan, called Cercle des Vignerons du Rhône. In January 2017, the Cave le Gravillas de Sablet was also entered into this structure, and in 2019 it linked with Rhonéa, the Vacqueyras-Beaumes-de-Venise Co-operatives group.
The Rasteau Les Hauts du Village red, 35% Grenache (1960s-1970s), 35% Mourvèdre, 30% Syrah, is one of the best of the range [**** in 2016]; it is 30% oaked, so that doesn't impinge too much. It's frustrating that a wine which holds 1920s Grenache, the Ico(o)n red, is then dosed with new oak, rendering it hard work to drink. The Les Viguiers range of Côtes du Rhônes - red, white and rosé - is good value, and reliable.
LVT 2018 r 2015 wh Manly, full Rasteau wines, consistent quality at the top end. The Rasteau Bastide Saint Martin is based on 1930s-1960s Grenache (45-50%) and 1960s Syrah (1960s), and performed well in 2017, a **** wine for that vintage. There is an attractive Côtes du Rhône Villages Élégance white - ***(*) in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and an easy drinking Cairanne red as well, recently added, steel vat raised, the **** 2018 a w.o.w. wine. This is a name to watch.
LVT 2019 r 2014 wh These have been good, traditional wines, concrete vat raised. In 2019 a new, welcome era was launched with the participation of Laurent Brechet of Château de Vaudieu at Châteauneuf-du-Pape, where Paul-Émile worked for two years. Investment in materials will pay off, and the wines are now polished up, the tannins smoother, with drinking earlier. The 2019 held easy richness, giving an instant glass of Rasteau, for example - it was a ***(*) wine.
For over 40 years the family have produced a Rasteau Vin Doux Naturel with very long cask ageing, the Rasteau Rancio. The son Paul-Émile arrived at the domaine in 2012 after working at Pierre Amadieu in Gigondas for five years, plus his stint at Château de Vaudieu. Of great note was the ****(*) 2016 Rasteau Paul Emile, based on 60% 1930s Grenache, which was a genuine, true, STGT wine.
LVT 2019 r 2014 VDN Good own domaine name at Rasteau, an ex-Co-operateur whose father has been Mayor of Rasteau for 18 years. 1st bottling 2003. Laurent lets his wines do the talking. There are good local qualities in robust, genuine, well-filled wines here. Pre-bottling, the 2015 Rasteau Tradition red is ****(*), STGT wine. Also STGT is the 2019 Tradition red, a **** child of the clay with notions of the garrigue on the palate. The 2014 Rasteau Cuvée Aimé red, based on 1915 Grenache, was a stylish **** wine. The Rasteau Vin Doux Naturel rose is good. This is a good address that deserves to be better known.
LVT 2018 r One of the best, most consistent addresses at Rasteau, 24 hectares of vineyards, with old vines in lovely blue clay soils that are said to contribute iodine to the finish. Modern, smoothly fruited Rasteau, the top wine Argiles Bleues has been overtly oaked in the past, including in the exceptional vintage of 2010, but that eased in the mid-2010s as much larger 12 hl and 30 hl barrels were brought in. It can live very well, and the 2017 is detailed, cool, a very good ****(*) wine.
LVT 2017 r A domaine created in June 2013, named after their grandfather, Guiseppe Barbieri, who was from Cremona in Italy, the home of the Stradivarius violin - hence the name of the Rasteau and Cairanne, Premier Violon. Having started with 16 hectares, there are now 11 hectares at Rasteau, 7.2 hectares at Cairanne, and 1 hectare at Sainte-Cécile-les-Vignes. No SO2 is used during vinification, which is done with wild yeasts. The Cairanne and Rasteau are both sound to good, with a sweet tone to the former and a hearty approach to the latter.
LVT 2018 r A very low profile domaine with 50 hectares including mainly Rasteau, operating since 1967. The approach is traditional, and bottling is done north of Lyon by a merchant at St Jean d’Ardières.
LVT 2015 r Recent bottler of their wine. The Liautauds also do bed and breakfast, with two rooms and have a swimming pool for their clients. The wines are traditional, modest.
LVT 2018 r 2007 VDN Bernard’s father Louis established the domaine in 1979. There are over 20 hectares across Rasteau, Séguret and Saint Roman de Malegarde. Since 2009 the Girards also make Séguret Côtes du Rhône Villages red. Machine harvesting, raising only in concrete vats. These are traditional styled wines, sound heart. There are two Rasteau reds, the Prestige from the best plots at over 2090 metres, made in the top vintages. The 60% Grenache-40% Carignan Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Le Plan red was a real good grass roots **** wine in 2017. The Vin Doux Naturel is a rosé.
LVT 2018 r 2011 wh 2008 rosé Patrice left the Cave de Rasteau in 2002, but still sends some crop there. Promising, good, steady quality. Excellent Rasteau Vin Doux Naturel.
LVT 2019 r 2016 wh 2011 VDN 2015 rosé VDN 2011 ambré Unpretentious, grass roots quality; style has moved from robust to more abundant, smooth and gourmand since change of oenologue to Philippe Cambie after 2008. The fruit holds commendable purity. The wines still have local character. They are organic and biodynamic. There are now several Rasteau reds, La Mondona being the main flag bearer. centred on old vines, at least 60 years' old, the 2016 a **** STGT wine. It is naturally robust, and requires a little bottle ageing. The 80% 1930s Grenache, 20% 1940 Carignan Rasteau Lou Montel red, first made in 2015, was a ****(*) wine in 2016. The easy access Rasteau red, Les Travès, is recommended to be drunk within three years; the **** 2019 was pleasing, natural, textured, versatile with many dishes.
More of the wine is bottled than in the past, with around 30% of La Mondona previously sold in bulk. The Cairanne, now called Terra Rosea, was a w.o.w. ***(*) wine in 2016, while the 2015 Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Char à Vin red was a **** w.o.w. wine, and the very small production Rasteau Vin Doux Naturel Ambré Hors d’age red was a marvellous ****(*) wine in 2009, expressive and deep from that sun-filled vintage, with the 2011 a **** wine of good character: it's well worth seeking out
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh 2019 rosé 2014 VDN The Rasteau reds have more style than previously, are very good now, and are in the front rank there, including with the Rasteau Grenache Vin Doux Naturel. The old vine Rasteau Héritage 1924 red, which I have very highly rated in the past, has been straightforward and therefore a bit disappointing in 2015 and 2017, but was back on form with complexity and intricacy, in both 2016 and 2018, a ****(*) wine, the 2016 STGT.
From 2017 there has been a new, sleek Rasteau red called Argilla Ad Argillam, amphore raised, running with 50-80% Grenache (there are variations each vintage, which shows adaptation to the situation). The 2017 was a **** wine, the 2018 STGT and ****, the 2019 ****(*) and also STGT, a complete, genuine wine. The amphore handling on it [up to 1,000 litres in size] has worked extremely well. Gilles Ferran also makes a wine called Calendal with oenologue Philippe Cambie.
The Cairanne reds are accomplished - the 2015 Cairanne Le Ventabren red was a **** wine when tasted pre-bottling, and the 2018 vintage brought a **** Ventabren, and a **** STGT Cairanne La Boutine red [100% 1950s Grenache].
There are two sound, enjoyable Côtes du Rhône whites taken from Rasteau soils at at around 250 metres. The 2019 La P:once, 40% Marsanne, 40% Roussanne [both 1988], 20% Grenache blanc, steel vat handled, was a good meeting of Northern and Southern Rhône in 2019, a **** w.o.w. wine of note.
LVT 2018 r 2014 VDN A domaine with high vineyards and a priceless two hectares of 1914 Grenache in front of the cellars - the base of the Vieilles Vignes wine. These are robust, genuine wines that need bottle ageing. After 35 years, Paul and Elisabeth Joyet handed over to their daughter Françoise, and her American husband Jon Larum in 2018; they had lived and worked in California for the previous ten years. Only a restricted amount is bottled, with that side being developed. There are now two new cuvées, Bienveillante and Gracieuse, the former a 60% Grenache, 40% Syrah wine (the 2014 ****), the latter 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 20% Syrah (2014 ***(*) wine). The 2018 Rasteau red was a genuine, STGT **** wine.
LVT 2015 wh 2014 r Traditional approach. Pierre Meyer started on the domaine in 1984, three years after it was established. He had been a Co-operateur. His daughter Céline has done a wine masters in Geneva. Half the wine is sold in bulk to Chapoutier (Rasteau) and Guigal (Côtes du Rhône).
LVT 2015 r 2011 rosé 2011 wh Good, solid quality; wines that are well made; the Parpaiouns is from old Grenache, has local feel, while the Prestige is given oaking in used 600-litre casks.
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh 2015 VDN Helen Durand has undergone a conversion, one that I hoped would happen. He has renounced extraction, and has backed off high temperature, high intervention winemaking. Raising time has been cut to 10 months from double that, and since 2007 he has sought greater freshness in his wines. They are now interesting, free, on mineral influences. This is now a good, hand made range of organic, biodynamic wines.
The Rasteau red that used to be called Tradition is now called Les Cras, and the 2016 was a real winner, a ****(*) wine of character and nuance. In 2017 Helen started raising 20% of his top Rasteau, Les Adrès, in amphorae [more oxygen] to further increase length and profundity. The 2010 Vin Doux Naturel grenat is superb, also the 2014, a wonderful ***** wine, and the 2015, a ****(*) wine, top of the class.
Two STGT wines to signal are the **** 2015 Rasteau Les Adrès, a child of its clays, and the **** 2016 all Grenache Côtes du Rhône red that comes from some of the lime soils at Rasteau, and is well in line with them; the latter was also **** in 2017, a bright, entertaining wine, so look out for it. The Roaix Villages red is also authentic, the **** 2017 a wine of elegant gras. It isn't all bottled, the excess going into, and helping, the Côtes du Rhône red. On the white front, Helen makes a tasty, well defined Côtes du Rhône called Les Plans based on 1989 Grenache blanc, its oaking nice and mild.
LVT 2018 r These are good, easy to drink wines, delivered in a soft, floral-scented style. Quality is rock steady from one vintage to the next, with the feel of hand made, well marshalled wines coming through. The Rasteau vineyards cover 4.5 hectares, centred on the slope of Les Girards, where there is mid-1970s Grenache. It is the only Rasteau like this, generated by harvesting very ripe crop, then a low temperature maceration to secure soft tannins. It is is put on the market early. The 2016 Rasteau red, a **** wine, was a sunny, gourmand wine, for example.
Elodie is a cousin of Robert Charavin and of the Durand family at Domaine du Trapadis, while Corinne Couturier is the first cousin of her mother. Quite a local pedigree, therefore. Topped up by which, she spent time as a student at Domaine Marcel Richaud. Elodie's father is a Co-operateur at both the Roaix and the Rasteau Co-operatives.
LVT 2017 r 2017 wh 2010 rosé 2006 VDN This is a remarkable, out of the loop 15 hectare estate with an extremely passionate owner. It was created in 1996 when Jerome was 23 years old, his father a Co-operateur at Rasteau. Since 1988-89 Jerome insisted on it being an organic domaine, and since 2008 it is biodynamic. Yields have always been tiny – 10-15 hl/ha. Jérôme does not work with an oenologue.
These are very precise wines, some STGT qualities, too; they come from a patchwork of leading sites at Rasteau, with blue and yellow marl soils, clay and stones mixed in. The Grenache and Carignan feature post Word War One vines. Harvesting is later ["later and later, since that encourages more aromatic subtleties"] than in the past, the 2014 into November. Whole bunch percentages on the red vary between 50% and 80%.
The IGP red wine is a very accurate measure of the vintage, so the 2014 was cool, direct, interesting, the 2016 leaning towards North Africa and the Mediterranean, eking out its thick juice with resistance. The 2017 had still not finished 45 gm of sugar in March, 2019.
The wines are expensive, high quality, and no longer part of the Rasteau appellation because the authorities expect him to drop grape varieties that do not fit their dossier of approved vines.
The IGP white is composed of nine different varieties that include 1930s Grenache blanc, also Grenache gris, all three Northern Rhône varieties, and 1980s Picpoul. It can ferment for eighteen months, and needs time to get together, then open, so Jérôme recommends drinking at seven years with truffle dishes. The white is mostly on limestone, and has been increased from one to three hectares.
There are just two vintages of Vin Doux Naturel, the ****(*) 2004 and ***** 2006.
The picture features Jérôme with wine list legend and truffle fiend Guy Jullien of the Restaurant Beaugravière at Mondragon
LVT 2019 r 2019 wh A domaine set up in 2017, with Frédéric an ex President of the Syndicat des Vignerons and Co-operateur with the Cave Ortas de Rasteau. Born in Marseille, Frédéric came to the land via learning about viticulture on the four hectares of his wife’s grandparents named Martoglio, from 2001 working on his own. The split is 9 ha for the Cave and 13 ha for Domaine Gramiller, the latter composed of 10 ha Rasteau (inc 4 ha rented from Domaine des Nymphes since 2020), 3.9 ha Côtes du Rhône red, 1.3 ha each at Sablet, Tulette, Ste Cécile-les-Vignes (young Grenache), 1.45 ha Côtes du Rhône white (0.9 ha Sablet, 0.55 ha Rasteau (inc 1950s Clairette, Roussanne early 2010s), 2 ha Vin de Pays at Rasteau. The vineyard has been worked organically since 2007. He is a skilled man of diverse talents, having studied physics ["helpful for my vinifications"], and built his own cellar.
There are two Rasteaus from different plots; the Gramiller, from mixed clay with limestone soils at 250 metres, has a relaxed style, ***(*) in 2017, and is fresher than Les Marcels, which was a bingo **** STGT wine in 2018, and exactly the same - **** and STGT in 2019 - way to go! The reds are 70% destemmed and concrete vat raised. The Côtes du Rhône range, two whites, one red, is good, too: the red is mainly young Grenache from Sainte-Cécile-les-Vignes, zero added SO2, the 2018 a most friendly **** w.o.w. wine. The whites, from Sablet and Rasteau are also well made; I prfer the mainly Grenache blanc-Clairette Plénitude over the 50% Bourboulenc Rêve Blanc, which is very New Wave, taut, as per the 2019.
Frédéric also makes a very good range of micro beers; they, too, are organic.
LVT 2017 r Good, genuine, hearty wines with some local imprint. They are in the front rank at Rasteau, and benefit from bottle ageing. The Rasteau Vieilles Vignes is bold, full of depth and character, a real flared nostril of a wine. Its heart is 1940s-1950s Grenache on red, yellow and blue clay soils. It is often STGT, as it was in 2006, 2007, 2012, 2013 and 2016. It can live for 15-20 years, and is well worth alllowing time so it can develop its complexity. The Côtes du Rhône red is VALUE, a wine of real consequence, and STGT in 2014; both the 2015 and 2016 were **** wines
LVT 2018 r 2018 wh NV Vin Doux Naturel Two hearty, honest Rasteau reds, made in limited quantities. It's a relatively low profile domaine, with Didier Julian most happy in the vineyards. The Archange, around 3,500 bottles, is concrete vat raised apart from the Syrah which goes into large foudre barrel; the Héritage, 8,000 bottles, is all concrete vat raised. Both the Archange and Héritage were **** wines in 2015, pre-bottling, and both ****(*) in 2016, when the Héritage was an STGT wine - some achievement. The Héritage also hit **** in 2017, up for stews and country dishes, while the 2018 was a very decent ***(*), hearty wine in that tricky vintage.
LVT 2019 r 2017 wh Early 2000s set-up at Rasteau. The style has been for powerful wines, with character, a good address. Elegance is coming through in the late 2010s, with genuine refinement in notably the Rasteau Esprit d'Argiles. After renting space from La Soumade from 2003, Georges Perrot set up his own operation. He started with 5 hectares of rented vineyards. The original 1 hectare was enlarged to 20 hectares in 2009 thanks to his father-in-law Michel Bommenel, the President of the Cave de Rasteau. Philippe Cambie is the consultant oenologue.
Georges Perrot did a variety of jobs in his twenties – boilermaking, hairdressing, swimming pool attendant, the hospital at Valréas. He stays a little apart from the main Rasteau stream. There are now three Rasteau reds, one from blue and yellow clays, based on 1950s Grenache, the Esprit d’Argiles ***(*) in 2014, an interesting **** wine of finesse in 2017, and a most elegant **** wine in 2019.
The Rasteau La Fontaine red, based on 1950s Grenache from blue clays, was *** in 2014 and ***(*) in 2015, and the Rasteau Les Touillères red, 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah, was a regular *** wine in 2014 and 2015. Georges' Grenat Vin Doux Naturel Rasteau is very good, since it is pure and crystalline in a vintage such as 2015, a wine of poise and authority, ****. The Côtes du Rhône white is well made, the 2017 a fine and genuine ***(*) wine
LVT 2018 Julie's father Jean-Claude ran the Cave de Rasteau for ten years until his untimely death, whereupon she returned to Rasteau. Julie worked in Bordeaux, then as a sommelière in Australia. The first vintage bottled was 2015. The 12 hectares owned at Rasteau come under the Luminaille name, with most sold as crop so far. The remaining 5 hectares of rented vineyards give crop for the Cave de Rasteau, Ortas. The vineyards are under the care of her friend Nicolas Bres, who previously worked at the Domaine de Pisan, part of the Cave de Rasteau until its sell-off. The two Rasteau reds have been renamed Garance (60% Grenache, the old vines wine, part amphore handled) and Luminaris (40% Grenache), the latter an authentic ***(*) wine in 2017, but a little too vegetal (30% stems included) in 2018
LVT 2018 r One of the leading names at Rasteau, with a proven track record over decades. Father André Romero has never been a man for a quiet life, and over the decades frequently changed his vinification as he sought styles of the time - those in vogue. After a strong extraction phase in the 1990s, he finally settled down from 2002 in the company of more finesse, albeit at high degree, under the eye of his advisor, Bordeaux-based Stéphane Derenoncourt, one of the best Bordeaux exports. Son Fréderic is continuing with the sleek, polished style of wines, which carry commendable elegance. The 2017 range of four Rasteau reds ran between ***(*) and ****(*). The 2015 Gigondas was a bold wine of genuine heart, a ****(*) success.
LVT 2019 r The Lavau brothers, Benoît and Frédéric, bought this 10 hectare domaine across 12 plots in 2014. The vineyards are both in the higher, north part of the appellation (mainly Grenache), and the lower zone near Bellerive above the River Ouvèze (mainly Syrah). Raising is in new 228-litre oak casks, which marks the wines more than is ideal. The 2018 was a genuine ***(*) wine
LVT 2017 r These are organic wines, with massale selection of the vines. Mikaël’s 2 hectares across eight plots on slope and plain stem in part from his grandparents, in part from his great uncle. His father was an agriculteur (as opposed to a viticulteur) at Rasteau, and worked at the Cave de Rasteau, before finishing his career at the Domaine de la Girardière. It was his uncle who worked the family vineyard.
Mikaël worked as a mechanic before starting at 20 working in southern Rhône vineyards. He then studied viticulture at Carpentras before moving on to the organic Domaine Jean David at Séguret, which stimulated the urge for him to make wine. When his uncle retired in 2008, Mikaël worked two hectares from his parents, and after he left the Cave de Rasteau in 2010, his first wine was made in 2011. In those days his other job was the number 2 in charge of the vineyards at Domaine de la Vieille Julienne at Châteauneuf-du-Pape, while since 2012 he has been maître de chai at the organic Clos de Caveau at Vacqueyras.
Quality took a big leap forward from the 2013 vintage, which was vinified in his own premises near the ramparts of Rasteau – the wines are much fresher, more detailed. The 2013 was STGT Rasteau, a **** wine. I find the wines gradually improve with time, two cases being the 2013 - **(*) in April 2015, ***(*) in May, 2016, and **** in November, 2020. The 2015 was *** in May, 2016, and ***(*) in November 2020. Mikaël is strongly motivated, and this is an interesting address for wines of character and hidden corners.
LVT 2017 r Ex Domaine Emile Charavin, now the sixth generation in charge, brother and sister. Emile died, aged 97, in 2011, some innings. Olives, pigs, before wine here - polyculture. Réjane & brother Wilfried's great grandfather Théophile moved the domaine to more purely wine in the 1930s, while their grandfather bottled for the first time as far back as 1952. They have been organic since 2012. Hearty Rasteau wines, a bit on the wild side, while the 2016 Cairanne red engaged well, came with style, a ****(*) wine. Sinmce 2015 there has been a second, small production, low SO2 Rasteau called Septentrion; it has a naked style. Quite a lot of the wine is sold in bulk, or harvest, in the case of the Cairanne.
LVT 2018 r The previous proprietors of a Côtes de Bordeaux, Château de Pic, where they owned 40 hectares, and rented a further 20. They sold up in 2013. The Toque Rouge refers to the jockey’s red cap of their horseracing colours, having raced flat horses at Pau in S-W France. François, an oenologue, grew up in Mollans in the Drôme, and wanted to return to more Meridional pastures. In 2015 they bought a well tended 3.1 hectare, galet stone covered vineyard from a Co-operateur. The first vintage was 2016. The **** 2017 had character, the inclusion of the Syrah stems bringing a smoky freshness, while the **** 2018, charm and garrigue present, was promising pre-bottling.
LVT 2017 r Started in 2010. Claude Hilt worked in Burgundy before returning to Provence. The domaine name referes to the old production of saffron at Rasteau. There are two Rasteau Vins Doux Naturels as well. The red moved up in quality in 2017, which was a **** wine well criss-crossed with juice and fluid richness