Domaine de Bérane

Village:
Mormoiron
Appellation:
7ha
Côtes du Ventoux
Grower:
Bertrand Ferary

The vineyards of Côtes du Ventoux are part of the southern Rhone and are for the most part spread out around the town of Carpentras just north of Provence. They are set against the backdrop of Mont Ventoux which dramatically rises 1912 meters above the valley floor. This imposing mountain range, the tallest in interior France, has been classified by UNESCO as a “Reserve de Biosphere”. Mont Ventoux and the Rhone River have combined to create a variety of soil types in the Cotes du Ventoux appellation and in addition to grapes, there is a rich array of crops that grows on these southern Rhône fields.

Domaine de Berane’s vineyard is situated in the village of Mormoiron at an elevation of 350 meters and with south-east exposure. The vineyard is composed of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. The domaine works according to the principles of organic farming.

Agapes

The cuvee “Agapes” takes it name from the biblical word connoting a meal taken after work and it is indeed a lovely wine to have after a day’s work. The wine is a blend of 70% Grenache from 50 year old vines, 25% Syrah and 5% Mourvedre. The wine is fermented in cement tanks using indigenous yeasts. The Grenache and Mourvedre are matured in tank while the Syrah is matured partly in tank and partly in barrel.

Les Blaques

The cuvee “Les Blaques” is a blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache. It is fermented and then matured for six months in cement tanks. The wine combines rich and dense fruit with fine tannins giving the wine body and structure.

News

Every year about this time we ask our winemakers to send us reports on the current vintage : events over the growing season, harvest conditions, what's happening in the winery during these early stages. It takes a while for all reports to roll in, which we will eventually compile and publish on our Vintage Reports page. Meanwhile we've received enough responses from all over France, from Champagne, Loire, Southwest, Rhone, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Beaujolais...to post a preview of Vintage 2019.


Having heard from wine makers in different regions of France, weather conditions in 2019 were almost uniform, north to south, east to west, having to do with similar climatic irregularities during the growing season. All inconsistant with historic norms. Warm winter and early spring, leading to early bud set, only to be beset by frosts in April and delayed flowering, then heatwaves and drought in summer, somehow miraculous comebacks with needed rains at the end of the growing season, and clement harvesting weather. In general there was a loss of yields but high quality fruit. Climate changes are tangible and posing serious challenges to wine growers who are now needing to anticipate how to adapt their wine growing methods to deal with an erratic and quickly changing growing environment.

Notes from our winemakers :

L'Yonne

Domaine d’Elise, Chablis, Frédérique Prain

The year 2019 = a hot and dry year
Alas, we had a bit of hail at the beginning of April and again in late April.
The hail beginning of May at which time buds were between 1 and 12 cm.
With this persistant cold budding was slow, taking through the end of May.
The vines were in full flower around June 17th
Which put the predicted harvest date at September 25th;Then the heatwave came!
Very hot at the end of June: 38°C, beautiful all of the beginning of July and at the end of July, record hot temperatures in Chablis : 42.6°C on the 25th of July.
End of August it was still very hot, and above all dry.
So the harvests began in the region the beginning of September, around the 10th in Chablis, on the 17th at Domaine d’ELISE!
The quality is excellent but its necessary to take note that there a lot of underdeveloped berries that were slightly dried out, and some even burned by the sun.
The yields are only 40HL/HA instead of the usual 60.
The degrees vary between 12.5 and 13.5, which is very high for Chablis and Petit Chablis.
However the acidities are correct, allowing for making characteristic Chablis.
They will be for medium term keeping.
The juice is already tasting very well : its round and fruited, very agreeable on the palate.
Since the year 2000 we've experienced many good years, despite climactic warming.
Often with excessive ripeness comes a decline in acidity, which is not suitable for Chablis.
Happily, le Domaine d’Elise always has good acidity because of its rocky, very calcareous soil.

Savoie

Domaine des 13 Lunes, Savoie, Sylvain Liotard

The 2019 vintage was the vintage of confirmation for me (my third year), in spite of being a growing season of all possible climactic hazards.

We had frost, hail, violent winds and 3 months of drought.

I was anxious about protecting the grapes.

In the end, the losses were not too bad, (15 to 20%).

The acidities are for the monent high, a real mountain wine.

The maturities were very good but heterogeneous, resulting in quite a bit of millérandage (mixed sized berries and partial crop failure).

The fermentations are quite variable, according to different parcels. Those that got hail are taking more time.

I really like these wines to come, I think that they will have great personality.

I just finished (end October) putting the wines in tank or in barrel to finish fermentations and for maturing.

Autumn work begins, earthing-up the vines, treating of the soils, replacing certain vines and a bit of commerce.

Beaujolais

Domaine du Crêt de Bine, Sarcey, Florence Subrin

2019, a crop of excellent quality but a small crop as a result of climactic hazards. The 2019 vintange for us will have been remembered by the successive late frosts in the month of April, as well as the hailstorm on the 18th of August. With the very warm start of the growing season, vegetation started early, then suffered the climactic "rewind" of a sudden drop in temperatures in April. Follwed then by a lovely spring and a hot summer, which was favorable to good ripeness of fruit. Unfortunately, the quantity was affected by a violent hail storm in August. Nevertheless, this small yielding season, makes up for itself in quality. Indeed, with such beautiful fruit, very balanced with delicate aromas, we are able to vinify wines that reflect that beauty the of fruit. Entirely hand harvested over 9 days, our 2019 cuvées are showing a rare finesse with beatiful bright "cherry" color, all with no added sulfur other than a minimal dose at bottling to protect them during transport. Beautiful "Natural" cuvées, are equally "Beaujolais" ; they will be released in the Spring 2020.

Sud-Ouest

Chateau La Caminade, Cahors, Dominique Ressès

Here is my first impression of the 2019 millésime.

We’ll say that the vintage, started a bit poorly with a spring frost (May 6th), but finished well, though with a reduced quantity, but superior quality than we estimated.

In addition, a beautiful, hot and dry summer provided conditions for the vines to catch up on the delay caused by the Spring frosts.

Finally, some rains at the end of August and beginning September, followed by nice weather, hot during the day, cool at night, during the whole rest of September, made for a lovely and homogeneous ripening of the fruit.

We started harvesting the 3rd of October and finished the 9th, days were cloudy and cool.

Today we can say that this vintage will be easy to drink, gourmand, with low acidities and high pH (already 3.6/3.7 before malolactic!!!)

Loire

Domaine Christophe Thorigny, Vouvray

The harvests went very well.

The crop is correct with a good quality in spite of the difficult climactic conditions of the year : 20% of vines affected by frost in the spring, heatwaves and drought this summer.

Domaine Verdier-Logel, Côtes de Forez, Julie Logel

The year 2019, once again, translates as an exceptional year, in the sense that the climate has upset the usual growth patterns of the vine and challenged the wine grower. Frosts during Spring and little rain caused a delayed development of the vines, which only started coming into a phase of fruit maturity at the end of August, which meant the winegrowers had to roll up their sleeves after traditional summer vacations. In the end, the harvest was quite satisfactory concerning quality. Vinification is just now finished, the wines are starting the maturing process and are already displaying a 2019 vintage that is less powerful than 2018, but more typical of the wines of the Forez and express the granite and basalt terroirs of the region.

Champagne

Champagne Perseval-Farge, Montagne de Reims, Isabelle Perseval

Each new vintage is an occasion to write a new page in history and above all to understand new winegrowing conditions in the changing climate.

The 2019 winegrowing season was once again quite singular : the erratic climactic cycles meant we had to organize ourselves around spring frosts, sudden unusual cold temperatures at budding and then heat waves during the summer. These changes in weather are recent and their consequences are unknown ; with little hindsight, an evolution is in progress. Each year we have to review the new imprint and rethink our production strategy.

The musts are very aromatic, and stimulate the palate. They have fruit, balance, concentration with a touch of liveliness, everything is there.

The fragrances emanating in the winery are so pleasant, we can’t wait to taste the first wines. Nature has given us the best, now it is up to us to magnify the fruit of our labor.

The Chardonnay has quite particular aromas : complexity, fruitiness, while the Pinot Noir and Meunier are powerful and elegant.

The 3 forgotten varieties (Arbanne, Petit Meslier and Fromentot) are very expressive. Their specific aromatic profiles are complementary : they combine freshness, balance, generosity and finesse. The production of the Cuvée Les Goulats remains very limited [1,000 bottles approximately / year]

In the end, the cuvées will be a reflection of the winemaker, his passion and his emotion. To that add patience to discover an acomplished wine…..

Now it is time that everyone takes ownership of their own Terroir and takes responsibilty and makes decisions to maintain productive vineyards, and bring the quality of production to the highest level. It is our credo and we consistantly pursue this objective. On this note, we have the pleasure to announce that Henry, our second son, has taken his place at the winery and that he has come to observe and assimilate Benoist’s savoir-faire after his wine-growing/making studies in Alsace and 2 years of profesional experience outside of our domaine.

Bordeaux

Chateaux Barraillots, Margaux, Yannick Martin

The 2019 harvests took place in very good weather with grapes in very sanitary condition.

It was sunny the entire harvest from September 26 through October 10th.

The grapes were healthy and well ripened.

Vinifications are almost complete, this week (end October) we finish the juice runs and pressings.

The malolactics are also almost finished.

In brief, a lovely crop, very good quality and good yields.

Rhone

Domaine de Berane, Côtes de Ventoux, Bertrand Ferary

We had quite a few suprises in 2019.

We grow Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. And for 19 years we have been harvesting them in that chronological order. For the first time Grenache matured before the Syrah. Incredible! In addition, maturities were blocked.

One of the causes is that we had the hottest summer in Provence since 2003. The grape skins were very thick, natures reaction to protect the pulp from dehydration, preserving its own production. We did reach normal quantites, with wonderful deep color, with higher degrees than usual.

We are performing many "déléstages" (multiple rackings of juice during fermentation and maceration, a process that aerates the juice and softens it by lessening time spent in contact with skins). And, hard to believe, for the first time, our Syrah and Mourvedre tanks have still not finished fermenting in early November. We expect they will have finished in a week. With this careful vinification, 2019 should be an excellent vintage.

Wine Traditions Ltd. 2012 Rosés

2012 Château Jouclary, Cabardès Rosé

2012 Domaine Monte de Marie, "Anatheme" VDT Rosé

2012 Domaine Roumagnac "Authentique" Fronton Rosé

2012 Domaine des Terrisses, Gaillac Rosé

2012 Domaine Brana, Irouleguy Rosé 6pk

2012 Domaine de Berane, Côtes du Ventoux Rosé

Château Jouclary, Cabardès Rosé

Château Jouclary is a blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 40% Grenache and 20% Cinsault. The grapes are harvested early in the morning to avoid any oxidation. Once in the vat house, they are gently pressed and then fermented at low temperatures. The wine has a pale salmon color and is enticingly aromatic with scents of red currant, citrus and exotic fruit. The flavors of fresh fruit are supported by a good structure and acidity that allows the wine to remain buoyant and fresh throughout the palate.

Domaine Mont de Marie, "Anatheme" VDT Rosé

Made of 100% Aramon from 100 year old vines. The vines are pruned "en gobelet" or goblet/bush-pruning, as is traditional in the Languedoc, and cultivated respecting the authenticity of the terroir. This wine is made with naturally occurring yeasts, vinified without sulfur and with no oenological input.

The nose is immediate and aromatic of small red fruits, in the mouth it is unctuous, fresh and crisp, it finishes with suggestions of caramel and a touch of liquorice.

Domaine Roumagnac, Fronton Rosé Authentique

Domaine Roumagnac Rosé Authentique is a blend of 50% Négrette, 30% Syrah, 20% Cabernet, harvested during the night in order to preserve their aromatic freshness. Made in the "saignée method, the wine sees a short maceration resulting in a transparent coppery-pink color. From the first juice, the most noble and fruity, the nose is of red berry and citrus fruits (red currants and grapefruit).

Domaine Roumagnac’s vineyards are the very same on which were planted the first Négrette vines in the 12th century, on soils of alluvial gravel, which give the wines authentic fruit aromatics and a natural suppleness. Farmed naturally, with grasses growing among the vines and with the advantage of the natural drainage of their parcels, yields are kept low in order to extract full potential of the fruit, and to preserve the soil and its geological riches from erosion.

Work in the vineyard is manual and quite intensive, making for the closest possible monitoring of the progress of the vines in the field. Vinification is traditional in resin lined cement vats. Varieties are vinified separately, then blended before bottling.

Domaine des Terrisses, Gaillac Rosé

Domaine des Terrisses is a blend of 60% Syrah, 20% Braucol and 20% Duras. The average age of the vines is 25 years. The syrah for this wine comes from a parcel on the plain, harvested when just ripe, offering a balance of fruit, suppleness and freshness. Extraction by « pressurage » or pressing results in a very light color. The juice from Duras and Braucol grapes, harvested later from hillside parcels, are obtained by the « saignée » method. The different grape varieties are fermented separately at low temperatures , allowed to settle naturally for 5 months and racked several times before blending and bottling. The wine has aromas of strawberries and rasberries and on the palate it combines stone fruit with more savory flavors. The wine has a balance and structure that will allow it to improve for a year.

Domaine Brana, Irouleguy Rosé

The Brana "Harri Gorri" Rosé is produced from 70% Tannat and 30% Cabernet Franc. The cuvee name "Harri Gorri" is Basque for red stones and refers to the red sandstone found locally in the Basque Pyrénées Atlantiques. The wine is produced using the "saignée" method with maceration sufficient to give the wine a deep color and good body. The scents are typically Basque with floral and earthy vying for "first out of the glass." The earthy aromas are mirrored on the palate which is lifted by stone fruit, lots of spice and lingering citrus notes on the finish

Domaine de Berane, Côtes du Ventoux Rosé

Domaine de Berane Rosé of Haute Provence is a blend of 85% Old Vines Grenache (41 years) and 15% Mourvedre (12 years). The vineyards are located 330 meters above Mediterranean sea level, next to Mont Ventoux, the largest mountain in the Provence region. The cool nights at harvest time here permit Bertrand and Anne Claire to obtain amazing freshness in their wines,.

The vines are tended organically with out pesticides or herbacides. The grapes were harvested late in September with excellent maturity and balance. The same approach is used in the winery as in the vineyard, avoiding the use of any additional products so that the fermentations remain entirely natural. The rosé is produced by combining two methods of vinification ; extraction by "pressurage" for the Grenache and by "saignée" for the Mourvedre.

The wine is pale with a slight orange tinge. The scents tend toward stone fruits with citric overtones. The wine is delicate on the palate with strong mineral and saline notes both providing a long, refreshing finish.


Our 2011 Rosés are here- reconnecting us to summer long days and gentle weather time to share with friends...


Château Jouclary, Cabardès Rosé

Château Jouclary is a blend of 40% Merlot, 30% Syrah and 30% Grenache and is produced by combining two methods of vinification, or more precisely, extraction. Known as the "saignée" method, the Grenache grapes begin a traditional vinification but with skin maceration lasting only about 12 hours after which the juice is drained to continue its fermentation without the solids. The Merlot and Syrah are produced using "pressurage," like white wines where the juice is pressed from the grapes before fermentation begins. The wine has a pale salmon color and is enticingly aromatic with scents of red currant, citrus and exotic fruit. The flavors of fresh fruit are supported by a good structure and acidity that allows the wine to remain buoyant and fresh throughout the palate.

Château Bellevue La Forêt, Fronton Rosé

Château Bellevue La Forêt is a blend of 60% Negrette, 20% Gamay, 10% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Franc. The different varieties are picked separately by parcel in the early morning to maximize freshness. They are gently pressed upon reception and then vinified separately at low temperatures. Following an "elevage sur lies" an assemblage is made. The local negrette grape gives the wine both its luminous strawberry color and lively floral aromas. The supple mouth feel supports flavors ranging from orchard fruit to notes of herbs and spices.

Domaine des Terrisses, Gaillac Rosé

Domaine des Terrisses is a blend of 60% Syrah, 20% Braucol and 20% Duras. 2011 was a particularly hot and dry year in Gaillac and Alain Cazottes picked the Syrah for the Rosé very early and instead of using the saignée method as usual; he gently pressed the grapes before fermenting them at low temperatures. For the Braucol and Duras he used the saignée method with maceration lasting about 12 hours. The different grape varieties were fermented separately at low temperatures allowed to settle naturally for 5 months and racked several times before blending and bottling. The 2011 vintage is particularly light in color, "provençalesque," and combines stone fruit with more savory flavors. Despite its delicate nature, the wine has a balance and structure that will allow it to improve for a year.

Domaine de Berane, Côtes du Ventoux Rosé

Domaine de Berane is a blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Mourvedre. It is produced by combining two methods of vinification, or more precisely, extraction with 70% by "pressurage" and 30% by "saignée". The grapes were harvested late in September with excellent maturity and balance. The wine is pale with a slight orange tinge. The scents tend toward stone fruits with citric overtones. The wine is delicate on the palate with strong mineral and saline notes both providing a long refreshing finish.

Domaine Brana, Irouleguy Rosé

The Brana "Harri Gorri" Rosé is produced from 70% Tannat and 30% Cabernet Franc. The cuvee name "Harri Gorri" is basque for red stones and refers to the red sandstone found locally in the Basque Pyrénées Atlantiques. The wine is produced using the "saignée" method with maceration sufficient to give the wine a deep color and good body. The scents are typically Basque with floral and earthy vying for first out of the glass. The earthy aromas are mirrored on the palate lifted by stone fruit, lots of spice and lingering citrus notes on the finish.

Region: Rhône

The Rhône and Loire rivers, if taken together, bring to a geographic focus nearly the whole of France. The two rivers never meet but they pass relatively near each other while flowing in different directions; the Loire flowing north some seven miles west of St. Etienne and the Rhône flowing south about eighteen miles east of St. Etienne, near the town of Chavanay, one of the northern most villages in the Saint Joseph appellation...

I like to imagine that long before cities were built and humans walked the earth, these two immense and powerful aqua-highways had a relationship, something akin to a gravitational pull (that’s another way of saying romance). Even though they could not see each other, I imagine they could feel each other’s presence and in the primordial silence, the movement of each river might have given rise to a song which would have echoed between the Massif Central and the Alps.

The Rhône river begins in the Swiss Alps and flows 810 kilometers until it finally washes into the Mediterranean Sea. The vineyard area referred to generally as the Côtes du Rhône extends from Lyon in the north to Avignon in the south. The northern Rhône, known as the “vignoble septentrional,” is linked to the historic importance of Lyon whose commercial and gastronomic vitality have encouraged the northern Rhône vineyards to flourish. The northern vineyards lie on a narrow band of steep granite hills that represent the eastern extreme of the Massif Central. They run along the western edge of the river for a forty mile stretch between Vienne and Valence. The exceptions are the recently replanted vineyards in Vienne and the Hermitage vineyards, all of which lie on the eastern side. The climates of the northern and southern regions are notably different, with the north being cooler and wetter (a gift from the Swiss Alps that comes with the river). This is a major contributing factor to the extraordinary qualities of the northern Rhône reds which are cool climate Syrahs. The southern Rhône is quite separate from the northern region. It fans out around Avignon some hundred kilometers to the south of Valence. The southern Rhone known as the “vignoble méridional,” benefits from a Mediterranean influence which brings warmer and dryer air. It is here that one encounters lavender, olive trees and Grenache. The geology and topology of the southern Rhône are extremely variable with rivers and glaciers leaving certain zones with an abundance of surface stones. It is the Grenache grape that above all offers a thread of continuity to the red wines of the region.

The A.O.C. scheme of the Rhône Valley resembles that of Beaujolais and by French A.O.C. standards, it is rather simply organized, but of course not without its exceptions and contradictions. The appellations between Lyon and Avignon (with the exception of the Diois vineyards along the Drôme river in the Pre-Alps) are collectively known as Cotes du Rhône and include 171 communes spread throughout six départemants. The most basic appellation in the hierarchy covers wines that are labeled as Côtes du Rhône but technically referred to as Côtes du Rhône Régionales. Virtually all of these vineyards are located in the southern four départemants: Drôme, Ardèche, Vaucluse and Gard. Also located in these same four départemants, is the next level in the hierarchy, which is called Côtes du Rhône Villages. It includes 95 communes with a select 18 that are authorized to add their specific village name on the label. At the top of the order are the 13 Crus of Côtes du Rhône which do use their village of origin names on the label but not the word “Cru”. Eight of the “crus” lie in the northern Rhone: Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu, Château Grillet, Saint Joseph, Cornas Saint Péray, Hermitage and Crozes-Hermitage. Five lie in the southern part: Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Tavel and Lirac. There are additionally two villages whose red wines figure in the Côtes du Rhône Villages appellation, that have been given a separate A.O.C. for sweet wines known as vin doux natural. These are the villages of Rasteau and Beaumes de Venise. To finish out the Rhône Valley viticole, there are four independent appellations in the southern Rhône: Côtes du Vivarais, Coteaux du Tricastin, Côtes du Ventoux and Côtes du Luberon. All of this is to show that simple is not necessarily synonymous with simplistic.

When I started in the wine business in 1979, the wines of the Rhone Valley, with the exception of Hermitage and Châteauneuf du Pape, were little known or appreciated in the United States. At the time, a tasting of Saint Joseph wines seemed very exotic. This is in stark contrast to the enormous popularity the Rhône Valley’s wines enjoyed today. I don’t imagine that the ancient Romans would be surprised.