Village of Saint Michel d’Ardѐche, central Rhône
This family-run estate of Jean-Luc and Marie-Lise Dorthe is nestled in an area rich with human history, between the Northern and Southern Rhône in the tiny village of Saint Marcel d’Ardèche. A truly family-run winery, Jean Luc has personally done all the winemaking and growing work until bringing in an assistant to help him with pruning and weeding in 2006. Their marketing department is the kitchen table. Until visiting the US on a wine trip in 2001, Jean-Luc had never left his village of 1000 residents.
Vineyards: On historic lands near the famed Neanderthal Cave Paintings of Ardèche, France, their vineyards are laden with artifacts including 40,000 year old Neanderthal arrowheads and Roman pottery. The Romans cultivated wine there since 32 AD, and the Roman coin shown on the Marselan and Rosé labels is one of many artifacts found in their vineyards. Grenache, Mourvedre and Cinsault were first planted there in the 1300s. In 1937, theirs were among the first officially classified in the appellation of Cotes de Rhone. The Dorthe family has grown grapes since 1860, sold grapes to both Chapoutier and to E. Guigal until 1998, and started their Domaine in 1982. Since 1993, their 38 hectares are farmed with generally organic techniques of Lutte Raisonnée, following centuries without ever using herbicides. The vines are close-spaced at 1 meter along each row in each of their rocky, terraced hillside vineyards.
Winemaking: As a grape farmer Jean-Luc doesn’t winemaking want to interfere with his farming. The grapes are all hand-picked by the family, finishing before sunrise and arriving at the winery cool in temperature. Hand- sorted, the grapes are native yeast fermented at cool temperatures (reds in concrete tanks, the Rosé in stainless steel) never using oak. Their wine cellar is spotlessly clean, where they bottle unfined and only course-filtered.
Viognier 2019, Côtes du Rhône Blanc Organically Farmed
From 36 year old vines, this stunningly fresh, aromatic and pure 100% Viognier is made with extended skin contact in their cold cellar, but with no oak. Exuding honeysuckle, sweet melon, ginger, ripe nectarines, rose and apricot, it offers creamy texture yet bright acidity.
Côtes du Rhône Villages Blanc, 2019 13.5% Alcohol Organically Farmed
Superb wine! LIMITED
Blended of organically grown, nearly equal parts Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier and Grenache Blanc, the nose shows stone fruits, minerals and tropical flowers. Flavors repeat the nose with additional citrus and mineral elements, delivered in a lush, round, mouth- coating texture, finishing very long yet bright and clean. Cool-fermented in cement, the Roussanne ages in a neutral 600L Foudre before blending and bottling. No new oak. 40 case imported to California from 126 cases brought to the US.
Rose of Grenache 2020, Ardèche Organically Farmed New Vintage
The 2020 was hand harvested from reds planted exclusively for Rosé. This 100% Grenache is de-stemmed, cold-soaked 4 hours for color before pressing, then cool-temperature, stainless-fermented. Made without oak. A bountiful bouquet of fresh strawberries, watermelon and citrus zest leads to a fresh full-flavored, but light-bodied mélange featuring light raspberry, watermelon, strawberry and a lingering finish. Typical of French Rose, it is meant to drink over the next 3 years.
Red Blend “Little Canyon” 2019, Vin de Pays Des Coteaux de L’Ardèche 13.5% Alcohol
Soft, supple and easygoing with a nice array of black and red fruits, subtle herbs and earth. It is blended of 50/50equal parts Serine
Clone Syrah and Grenache, organically grown on alluvial soil flattened by the Ardèche River. Made without oak.
Côtes du Rhône Rouge 2017, Appellations Côtes du Rhône Contrôlée Organically Farmed
A perennial Wine Spectator “Best Buy” and “Best Value” this acclaimed 2016 vintage delivers. Lithe and layered, this crowd- pleaser delivers black and blue fruits, spice and hints of smoke in a creamy texture, finishing with deep flavors lasting quite long. Cement tank fermented, no oak. From 3 clones of Grenache (60%) and the famed Serine Syrah clone (40%), 30-60 year-old vines.
Côtes du Rhône Villages Rouge GSM 2017 Organically Farmed
Elegant, sophisticated and full bodied, offering complex aromas and flavors of layered blueberry, plum, cherry and minerals, with a lovely spice on the very long, polished and alluring finish. Grown organically in a select site at the top of a hill with special Alp-rock- filled soils. 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, 20% Serine Clone Syrah. It is harvested from 50 year old vines in 3 passes, ruthlessly hand-sorted, de-stemmed and cool-temperature fermented in cement tanks (made with no oak) to reveal clay and quartzite soils.
Marselan 2018, Vin de Pays des Coteaux de L’Ardѐche Organically Farmed New Vintage
Marselan is a sophisticated and geeky new French varietal, a genetic hybrid of Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache created in 1961. With dark blue fruits, floral notes, anise and game meats, power and acidity. A fine wine varietal with thick skins, small clusters, tiny berries, yields under 2 tons/acre and late-ripening, it ferments like Cabernet, retaining high acidity. It was picked in 3 passes, de- stemmed, hand sorted and then cool-temperature fermented in concrete vats (no oak at all). Vines planted in 1971. 1000 cases.
List 2 case mix
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