Domaine Lafond, now run by Jean-Pierre and Pascal Lafond, is based in Tavel where it has 35 hectares of vineyards and produces one of the best Tavels on the market today. The domaine also has a 10-hectare holding in the neighbouring commune of Lirac, where it produces both red and white wines.
This estate is named after a famous French race horse of the 1960s, Rocquapine, a favourite of winemaker Pascal Lafond's father. The current winery was constructed in the 1970s and has been considerably extended over the years to accommodate the production of the domaine's 85 hectares.
Grapes are grown on stony and sandy soils on red and pebbly terraces. The climate is temperate, Mediterranean and very windy. There is very little rain and an average of 2700 hours per year of sunight.
(Grenache 60%, Syrah 30%, Mourvèdre 10%.)
The grapes are picked by hand with the intention of quality. They are sorted out by the harvester and they arrive undamaged at the winery avoiding oxidation. Besides, the handpicking protects the good condition and the future of the vineyard.
Grapes are wholly destemmed. Long fermentation: 21 days to obtain supple and well present tannins. The pressing, end of fermenting and conservation in stainless steel tank until the first racking process. Then, the wine in aged in new barrels (half in strong heating + half in less strong heating) from January to October, to soften the tannins, to oxygenate the wine and to bring a touch of vanilla which will blend with the structure of the wine. The bottling is around January. From this moment, the harmonious blending between the structure of the wine and the aging in barrels brings a good balance which is going to improve for a few years.
This is a powerful and well-structured wine with a rich, deep ruby red colour with hints of purple. The nose is complex with cinnamon, stewed fruit and Morello cherries. Following a firm and ample attack in the mouth, we can find vanilla and peppery notes which last to the finish. It is a supple and rich wine, lingering in the mouth.
This is a great and versatile accompaniment to red meats and game, aubergine dishes and cheeses.