Domaine de La Tour, Beaucaire, South of France
Anne & Philip Cluzel bought what was a rather run down farm in 2000. Prior to that she worked in a bank, he as a cereal farmer. Vines were clustered around stunning old fortified farm buildings, perhaps originally a monastery. Rather than doing up the buildings, they poured all their efforts into the vines and wines, which always taste technically spot on, clean, pure and consistent. When you actually see where the wines are made (in ancient cement tanks) it’s a real testament to their rigorous attention to detail that the wines are so good. They continue to spend their efforts on the wines rather than any expensive marketing – the results show through: the wines really are remarkably good and particularly at such prices.
With a strong environmental conscience and a commitment to organic farming the Cluzels transformed their beautiful property. It is now a fully certified organic vineyard. Their successful quest for pure, unadulterated varietal characteristics in their wines is evident. The pressing and subsequent vinification of the grapes in steel lined concrete vats takes place at the heart of the vineyards enabling the grapes to be instantly pressed after picking, thus maintaining maximum freshness and flavour and avoiding any excessive use of sulphur.
The peachy pink rosé, made from Caladoc, is beautifully fragrant, pure and long in flavour. Just the type of rosé for glugging in the sunshine with a chevre salad and crusty bread. It is as pure as pure and thoroughly dangerous: it is very easily drunk.
The un-oaked Chardonnay is a stunning example of how you can make this noble variety into a refreshing, vivacious glassful.
The reds are powerful and intense, so much more than their simple appearance on paper.