Domaine de la Banate Village: Rousset-Les-Vignes Appellation: 4ha Côtes du Rhône Villages Rousset-Les-Vignes Grower: Jean T’Kint Website: http://www.labanate.fr/ban-en-p2.html One of the 14 Côtes du Rhône Villages appellations, Rousset-Les-Vignes is situated in the northeastern corner of the Côtes du Rhône “méridonale”. The tiny village is set against the backdrop of the Montagne de la Lance, a mountain range that bleeds into the Pré-Alps. The location of Rousset-Les-Vignes gives its vineyards the dual influence of Mediterranean and Alpine climates. As its name suggests, the village has a long association with vineyards, yet today there are fewer than 100 hectares planted and most of the growers sell their grapes to the local cooperative, all of which has kept this remarkable terroir off the wine professional’s radar. The four hectares of Domaine de la Banate were purchased by Jean T’Kint in 2011. He immediately began farming organically and received certification three years later. Jean’s vineyard is on the village’s lower terrace at an elevation of 340 meters. The well drained soils are formed from deep alluvial sandy-clays mixed with surface stones. Côtes du Rhône Villages Rousset-Les-Vignes, « Vieilles Vignes » The “Vieilles Vignes” is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. The vines are 60+ years old and the grape bunches are hand harvested with a selection done in the vineyard to discard green or damaged grapes. In the winery, the bunches are de-stemmed and the grapes are crushed before entering the fermentation tanks. Fermentation is done at low temperatures with indigenous yeast. During the month-long period of maceration, Jean does a combination of pumping over and punching down the cap each day. The wine is then aged in tank for six months followed by a couple years of bottle ageing in the domain’s underground cellar. Before bottling the wine receives a light filtration and a minimal dose (30mg/l) of SO2. Jean’s idiosyncratically simple methods yield a wine of presence, warmth, and grace.