Part 2, in Selling Pleasure: the incredible success story
of Provence rosé, with visits to some key producers
There are five
domaines with the Esclans name in Provence, and Jas d'Esclans is one
of them. It's a vineyard that has been here a long time – it is
found on 18th century maps - and in the past the property also
produced olives, sheep and silk.
Matthieu de Wulf
In the 1939 a
Nice-based medical doctor purchased the estate and dedicated it
solely to viticulture. Before this, all the grapes had gone to the
Cave co-operative. Since this time, no chemicals have been used on
this domaine, so it was an early adopter of organics. It gained cru
classe status in 1955.
owners, the De Wulf family, bought the property in 2002. They'd been
farming corn and potatoes just south of Bordeaux, and so coming here
fulfilled a life dream. The current cellar was built in 2007/8, and
then in 2010 bought a separate 23 hectare domaine 15 km away called
Chateau de Vaucouleurs.
Production is 300
000 bottles per year at Jas d'Eclans, plus 50 000 more at
Valcouleurs, and they sell half of this to the 50 000 cellar door
visitors they receive each year. 15% is exported. 'We try to be
modern in the cellar,' says Gwenaëlle De Wulf (who runs the domaine
with her husband Matthieu), 'but keep the idea of organic.' Both
domaines are certified organic.
Blanc 2013 Côtes de Provence, France
is a blend of Rolle (Vermentino) and Ugni Blanc. Lively, fresh and
aromatic with floral pear notes. The palate is bright and pithy with
a hint of fennel. Nice freshness and acidity. 88/100
Rosé 2013 Côtes de Provence, France
blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Tibouren. Pale in colour.
Rounded, smooth textured, easy and soft. Quite creamy. 88/100
Rosé Cuvée de Loup 2013 Côtes de Provence, France
Orange/pink in colour. Powerful and a bit spicy with bld cherry and
plum fruit. Rich and rounded. 89/100
Rosé Coeur du Loup 2013 Côtes de Provence, France
Grenache and Syrah, aged in wood. Creamy, broad, spicy nose with
some oak. The palate is bold and a bit herby with some creaminess.
Blanc Cuvée du Loup 2012 Côtes de Provence, France
Vermentino and Clairette, barrel fermented. Fennel, herb and spice
with some creamy oak notes. Nicely textured with good fruit. 90/100
Rouge 2012 Côtes de Provence, France
unoaked blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Floral nose
of black cherries and plums. Lovely supple red fruit palate with
nice definition and a hint of chocolate. Bright and quite pretty.
Rouge Coup de Foudres 2010 Côtes de Provence, France
peppry, vivid nose. The palate is fresh with a lovely peppery,
savoury edge to the fruit. A little meaty with a spicy southern
personality and good definition. Hint of animal. 90/100
Rouge Cuvée du Loup 2011 Côtes de Provence, France
in small oak. Hint of mint and spice on the nose with nice
definition, and sweet chery and blackberry fruit. There's a spicu,
savoury twist to the palate. 89/100
Maîtres Vignerons de la Côtes de Provence Vidaubannaise
Maîtres Vignerons de la Presqu'île de Saint Tropez