Dauvergne-Ranvier, roots of the Côtes du Rhône
Côte du Rhône, what a lovely thing to say… Not only is it fun to say but the region produces some of the most lovely wines out of France. This week we have Sophie de Lamèr, winery ambassador of Dauvergne Ranvier based in France to explore this magical region and the wine producing duo of Dauvergne Ranvier.
Dauvergne Ranvier is the result of two wine lovers who, after a rich professional experience within some of France’s most important wine production companies, decided to create their own wines. They are involved in each step of the creation, from wine growing & winemaking to bottling, all thanks to strong partnerships with wine growers in the Rhône Valley.
François Dauvergne says that the beginning of the beginning of his now wine partnership that his roots are half in Bordeaux where he grew up and half in the soils of Saint-Polycarpe, next to Limoux, where his family had vines. He then branched out to the Rhône Valley where he has been for 15 years of his career. Amateur geologist, Jean-François Ranvier finally chose enology after having earned an agronomist degree. After having directed an enology lab he then took over vinification for a major negociant house in the Rhône Valley. It was here that he would meet and work with François Dauvergne. In 2004 Dauvergne and Ranvier would leave together to live their dream: create their own wines, thus making their winery one of the most recognized in the Rhône Valley.
The Rhône is generally divided into two sub-regions with distinct vinicultural traditions, the Northern Rhône, referred to in French as Rhône septentrional and the Southern Rhône, in French Rhône méridional. The northern sub-region produces red wines from the Syrah grape, sometimes blended with white wine grapes, and white wines from Marsanne, Roussaneand Viognier grapes. The southern sub-region produces an array of red, white and rosé wines, often blends of several grapes such as in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The Rhone Valley was the result of an epic geological clash between the Massif Central and the Alps, creating a rift valley which was flooded by the Mediterranean. Three hundred million years ago, volcanic activity in the Massif Central produced the granitic rocks of the northern Rhone, while in the South, successive layers of fluvial and calcareous marine sediments formed such reliefs as the Dentelles de Montmirail – a huge bar of worn and scalloped limestone – and Mont Ventoux. Forty million years ago, the Alps were pushed upwards, causing the valley separating the two massifs to collapse. The Alpine Gulf created in this way was filled by the Mediterranean, which gradually deposited a base layer of hard limestone and marl (calcareous clay). Later, the closing of the Strait of Gibraltar considerably lowered the level of the Mediterranean, with the result that the Rhone began digging itself a deeper bed, creating fluvial terraces on either side of the valley and mixing the different elements in the hillside soils: sands, clay containing flinty pebbles. Today, the valley’s soils consists of four different types of rock: granite, sandy silica, limestone and clay. The bedrock plays an essential role in the way in which the growing vines are supplied with water, determining the varied aromas and flavours of Rhone wines.
In 2013François Dauvergne and Jean-François Ranvier took over operation of the Les Muretins Estate. In becoming wine producers, both partners have brought their enthusiasm and skills to the forefront and have marked an additional milestone in the mastery of all stages involved in the creation of wine, from planting the vines to wine production and sales. About ten hectares in all – Les Muretins Estate – includes several plots located on the appellations of Tavel and Lirac. This is a former family-run estate, with a mosaic of extremely high quality terroirs. The climate is essentially Mediterranean, with limited rainfall, average sunshine and the predominant Mistral wind. As the vineyard is relatively old, an investment will be essential.
Dauvergne-Ranvier, Tavel Domaine Des Muretins Rosé (2016) :: $26 Sale $22
A pale colored yet complex Tavel, the harvest of the first vintage spanned a total of 20 days, from September 20th to October 9th. Three wines were produced with each having undergone a first stage of maceration in the press followed by 48 hours of clarification at 12°C and then fermentation under a controlled average temperature of 15°C on average.
The Tavel from Les Muretins Estate is so enchanting thanks to the pale tint it has. The nose is very fruity but with some mature and complex notes giving it richness. Tangy and lively at first, the palate gets a surprising ampleness before a long and spicy finish.
Dauvergne-Ranvier, Côtes du Rhône Blanc Vin Gourmand :: $20 Sale $16
A white Côtes du Rhône made primarily of Viognier, with Grenache Blanc and Marsanne; the grapes being grown in vineyards mostly on the right bank which receive enough sunlight to completely ripen the grapes, but are situated at relatively high altitudes to preserve the freshness. Even with the cooling effect gained by farming at altitude, the grapes need to be harvested at the earliest opportunity to maintain the acidity levels in the wine. Fragrant, the wine shows exotic fruit such as lychee and mango; the palate backs these up with yellow peach and pink grapefruit.
Dauvergne-Ranvier, Côtes du Rhône (2014) :: $20 $16
A blend of Grenache and Syrah grown on a mixture of clay-limestone and sandy soils. Bright garnet-red, the nose leads with red fruits and hints of black pepper; the palate shows red and black fruit alongside some spice; this is a classic example of a solidly constructed Côtes du Rhône.
Dauvergne-Ranvier, Luberon Vin Gourmand (2014) :: $15 Sale $13
Made from Syrah and Grenache grapes; fermented in stainless steel tanks. Aged in stainless steel tanks. Aged for 8 months. Vinified at low temperature, the color and tannins are gently extracted to preserve the natural fruit aromas. Syrah enhances the spicy notes and tannins which bring complexity and structure. Grenache expresses the fruity aromas, smoothness and generosity.
This week we are sampling this months Wine Share with our good friends from Synergy Fine Wines. Synergy Fine Wines is a distribution company that represents some of the finest wines available from around the world. These top brands represent quality and innovation, and are recognized worldwide as some of the best in their class. Our mission is to distinguish ourselves as a premier distribution company through our knowledge, service and passion for wine.
The word “synergy” originates from the Greek word synergos, which means working together. We chose this for our name to represent the ongoing exchange of ideas, knowledge, training and passion for wine between the producers, importers and customers.
We start sippin’ and tastin’ at 4pm. Hope you can make it! Tag your pics #pickitupatpearl so we can CHEERS!
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