The wines of Château Manissy, Tavel and environs in the southern Rhône

Website: Château de Manissy

The vineyards of Château de Manissy were planted by monks. Well, to be more precise, by a religious community: the missionary brothers of the holy family. They were bequeathed the estate and soon after (in 1916) they planted vines, as monks are wont to do, for consumption at mass and also for other occasions.

The estate is based in Tavel, just over the river from Avignon. The Brothers gained a reputation for their barrel-aged Tavel rosé, but there came a point where the community  needed some help with their 60 hectares of vines, spanning a few different southern Rhône appellations. So in 2003 they enlisted the help of a young local winegrower, Florian André (pictured above). He took the vineyards, that had been sympathetically farmed, one step further and converted them to organics. They are now farmed biodynamically.

I tasted these wines at the cellar door with Florian André and his sales dude Antoine Edouard.

Château de Manissy Côtes du Rhône Blanc Oracle 2021 France
85% Grenache Blanc, 15% Clairette. Bright and lively with freshness and purity to the citrus fruit. There’s also a streak of liqourice and spice. The Clairette really seems to add a lot of freshness. 92/100

Château de Manissy Lirac Blanc Trinité 2021 France
80% Grenache Blanc, 10% Viognier, 10% Roussanne. Supple and fresh with nice balance. Sweet pear over a hint of cherry, as well as some apricot. A bit stony, and finishes with a mandarin flourish. 93/100

Château de Manissy Or d’Ange 2021 Vin de France
80% Grenache Blanc, 10% Viognier, 10% Roussanne, fermented on skins for 18 days and aged in stainless steel. No added sulfited and whole bunch. Fine and spicy with nice grip and vibrant citrus, apricot and pear fruit, backed up by firm tannins. So expressive with good purity. Shows mandarin, peach and spice on the palate. 94/100

Château de Manissy Tavel Tête de Cuvée 1970 France
Brown colour. This is savoury and elegant with nice cherry hints. It’s still very drinkable, with hints of earth and clay, and nice texture. A curiosity, but a tasty one. 93/100

Château de Manissy Tavel Tête de Cuvée France
Vibrant and spicy with a hint of raisin and cherry. The palate is fresh and vibrant with a lovely juicy quality. Some sappy hints here with fine spices. Lots of character. 93/100

Château de Manissy Tavel Trinité 2021 France
12.5% alcohol. This is their classic Tavel, made from Grenache with some Cinsault and Clairette. Direct press plus some saignee. Supple and juicy with a slight creamy edge to the red cherry and plum fruit. Supple, textural and stylish. 91/100

Château de Manissy Tavel Langoustière 2021 France
This is old Grenache with a bit of Syrah and some Clairette. A long maceration of 72 hours. This is very textural with a bit of grip. Lovely smooth fruit here with some grapey notes as well as strawberry fruits. Has good structure under the fruit: this is quite serious. 93/100

Château de Manissy Tavel Tête de Cuvée 2019 France
This is Grenache with Cinsault and Clairette, and spends 1 year in foudres. Textural and restrained with some fine grainy structure and supple layered fruit. There’s real finesse to this wine, with an appealing savoury dimension and some freshness, too. Layered. 94/100

Château de Manissy Gen# Alpha 2021 Vin de France
14% alcohol. This is Cinsault from Tavel, fermented on skins for 10 days, whole bunch. Nice crunchy red fruits with lovely drinkability. There are some peppery notes here, accompany the appealing cherry and strawberry fruit, as well as some grainy structure. There’s some tannin, but not too much, and this is a fine, fresh, pretty lighter red. 93/100

Château de Manissy Côtes du Rhône Oracle 2019 France
13.5% alcohol. This is brilliant value for money, retailing at €8 in France. It’s made from Grenache with a good dollop of Counoise (20%) as well as Carignan and Syrah. No oak. Fresh, vivid and supple with well balanced sweet black cherry fruit and some supporting tannin. Bright, grippy and stylish. 93/100

Château de Manissy Lirac Trinité 2019 France
80% Syrah and 20% Grenache. Structured but vividly fruited with nice black cherry and blackberry fruit, with a slight salinity and some liqourice notes. Juicy and firm with good focus. It has a savoury leaning with good density. 93/100

Château de Manissy Lirac Avant Goût du Paradis 2019 France
14.5% alcohol. From a small plot of old vines, this spends one year in old oak. This has an innate richness. It’s dense and ripe with sweet cherry and plum fruit, as well as some blackberry richness. There are hints of roast meat and olive, too, with some richness, but overall it stays fresh. 94/100

Château de Manissy Châteauneuf du Pape Trinité 2019 France
This is 100% Grenache from sandy soils in the south of the appellation. Quite dense and structural with bright, fresh cherry and plum fruit as well as some blackberry notes. Lovely focused black fruits here with good purity. Finishes grippy. 93/100

Château de Manissy Châteauneuf du Pape Terres Blanches 2018 France
From the north of the appellation on limestone soils, this is 100% Grenache. 30% new oak, 1800 bottles made. This is concentrated and fresh but has ripe sweet black fruits. Lovely richness and intensity with good texture and some spice. Stylish stuff that has a lovely mineral edge, and great focus. 94/100

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