- Tasting Notes & Technical Details
Jean-Louis Descours fell in love with Château La Verrerie in 1981, when he was looking for a project to occupy him after retirement. As a result, Jean-Louis purchased the 20 hectare estate and, with the help of his son Gérard, brought it back to life. They constructed a new winery and acquired more vineyards with the sole ambition to make great wine. Their first vintage was released in 1985. Today, Christopher, the grandson of Jean-Louis and owner of Charles Heidsieck, Piper-Heidsieck and Biondi-Santi, runs the estate.
Château La Verrerie is located in the Luberon appellation. The domaine has 48 hectares of vineyard, 70% of which is dedicated to red wine production with the remainder split between rosé and white wine. For the reds, 50% of the plantings are Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Cinsault and Carignan. Seven hectares are dedicated to Roussanne, Clairette, Grenache Blanc and Bourboulenc. The vineyards are farmed organically and the wines have been certified organic since the 2013 vintage.
The Luberon Rouge is first sorted by bunch before being fully destemmed, then sorted again by berry before undergoing fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. The wines are then aged in large, old oak casks (25 and 50 hectolitres). It is a Syrah-dominant blend of 74% Syrah, 22% Grenache and 4%Carignan, with a wonderfully concentrated palate that shows notes of black cherry fruits and a touch of liquorice. The Luberon Rosé is made using the saignée method from 70% Grenache Noir and 30% Cinsault. It is aged on its lees for a period of three to six months, adding texture and freshness to the finished wine. It is identical to the Provençal style, pale in colour, clean and perfumed, with crisp acidity and a scented finish.
The Hautes Collines Blanc is a blend of Bourboulenc, Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Roussanne and Viognier. Each variety is fermented separately, with a part in casks, and aged on the lees for four months to reveal aromatic complexity and structure on the palate. The Hautes Collines Rouge is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan, undergoing a cold maceration for five days before fermentation. With flavours of blood orange and sweet liquorice, this is a typical southern Grenache with a beautiful balance and silky texture. The Viognier is characterised by layers of fresh stone fruits and delicate floral bouquet with a well-structured palate and a saline finish.
The estate has 56 hectares of vineyard which have been certified organic since the 2013 vintage. Since recognising the potential of the diverse clay and limestone soils, which lend both power and freshness to the finished wines, Valentine has implemented biodynamic practises and dedicated more vineyard parcels to white grapes. The name 'Hautes Collines' means 'high hills' and reflects the surrounding landscape of the estate.
The 2020 growing season began with a very wet autumn and an unusually dry winter. Although there were significant rains in April and May, they were not enough to make up for the lack of rainfall in winter and the vines began to exhibit signs of hydric stress during the hot, dry summer. The vineyard benefited from beautiful temperature variations and cool evening towards the end of the summer, which helped to maintain freshness and balance in the grapes. The harvest began at the end of August.
The Viognier grapes were harvested at night to preserve the freshness and delicate aromas and flavours. Once at the winery, they were carefully sorted, first by entire bunch and then by berry after a full de-stemming. Fermentation took place in stainless-steel tanks at controlled temperatures for 20 to 25 days, followed by a period of settling before bottling and release.
Bright and clear pale yellow, with expressive notes of apricot and honeysuckle. The palate displays a vibrant freshness balanced by a core of expressive stone fruit culminating in an energetic, saline finish.