Seduced by this forgotten Cháteau ideally situated at the foot of the calcareous ridge of Cuers, on the border of the terroir of the "Figue de Solliés", the Duffort family decided to bring this superb wine estate back to life. 1988 was the first vintage at the Cháteau by its new owners, the Duffort family, well-known Bandol vignerons. It has been managed since 2004 by Olivier Duffort. The family worked with passion and enthusiasm on their new venture, modernising both vineyards and winery. After a complete renovation of the property, the result is 36 hectares (89 acres) of vineyards classified as 'Côtes de Provence' on some of the best terroir in the region and 8 hectares (19 acres) of 'Vin de Pays'. The winemaking is traditional with minimal treatments and dedicated to the production of fine Provence wines.
The Cháteau's vineyards are spread over several plots and cover the best soils of Cuers, Pierrefeu and Puget-Ville, ten kilometres apart, in the heart of the 'Triangle d'Or' or the Golden Triangle of the Côtes de Provence and range from 4,000 to 4,500 vines/ha.. Planted on deep and well drained gravel clay limestone soil (argilo-calcaire), their south-west exposure means vines benefit from hot days but cooler nights (helping attain better ripening and lower yields). Vines are ventilated by the 'Mistral' wind often present in the valley. Puget-Ville and Pierrefeu have different soils, the first dry and the second cooler. The wines therefore benefit from the richness of complementary terroirs The most careful attention is given to the vines, short cane pruning, ploughing and scraping, de-budding, thinning out the leaves. The growing of grapes is carried out in a traditional manner with respect to the soil and environment. Spraying is traditional and limited and all harmful chemical treatments and products have been completely banned. Yields are typically 45 to 50hl/ha and the grapes for Rosé are picked at night to preserve their fresh aromas.
Olivier Duffort took over the reins of the Cháteau in 2004 and his first decision was to invest in equipment to cool the must pre-fermentation, allowing him to make a finer and more precise Rosé. The grapes are pressed directly followed by cold-stabilisation to gently allow solids to settle out, then fermentation at low temperature. The wine is left in stainless vats before bottling. The Grande Reserve stays on its fine lees for 4 months before bottling and is best drunk up to 2 years after the vintage.
This delightful Rosé is a very pale salmon pink colour with a classic Provence rich and spicy nose. There is ripe fruit at the core of this rich, weighty and savoury wine balanced with freshness. Be patient, for when this wine opens up, you'll be rewarded by lovely fresh, sweet fruit characters and a satisfying elegant finish.