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Since the 2010 vintage it has been our great pleasure to feature the lovely wines from Yves Gros and family at Domaine Les Fouques, near Hyères. Located in a lovely hidden valley a few miles north of the Mediterranean, the Vallons des Borrels, the estate's vines are on hillsides below wild-boar infested forests - a diverse and wild environment. The vineyard shares the farm with pens of biodynamic birds - ducks, geese and guinea hens that fertilize the vines with a little help from a flock of sheep. Yves is now joined by his daugter Christelle and son-in-law Jacques Rapée, who brings his nearby parcels, also in biodynamic farming, as well as his great energy and enthusiasm, to the estate. Les Fouques is truly a special place, and the wines, far from the normal commercial productions of Provence, are a complex and beautiful reflection of their origins.
Tasted in January, the 2017 Les Fouque rosés showed beautifully, with their usual complex and full-flavored fruit, but in a fresh style that will make them absolutely delicious this summer, and next summer as well! The 2017 "La Londe" received the gold medal at the Concours des Vignerons Independents and silver went to the "Cuvée de l'Aubigue!" In addition to the 2017 rosés, we were able to get a small quantity fo the estate's fantastic 2016 Blanc and 2014 Rouge. The 2016 Côtes de Provence Cuvée de l'Aubigue Blanc is made from 80% Rolle (Vermentino) with 10% Clairette and 10% Ugni Blanc. It's a delicious, full-flavored Provençal white with complex aromas of apple and pear liqueur and hints of dried flowers, almond and herbs. The palate is round and ripe with white fruits, candied citrus and dense mineral and stone flavors with good acidity. It's great aperitf or accompaniment to full-flavored fish dishes and asian foods. We always enjoy the red from Les Fouques, but the 2014 Côtes de Provence Cuvée de l'Aubigue Rouge was particularly delicious. Primarily Grenache, with Syrah, Cinsault and Cabernet, this biodynamic red shows deep plum and blackberry fruit aromas with earth, citrus and Provençal herbs. The palate is ripe and supple with dense black fruits, prune and brown spice lifted by bright acidity. Serve with grilled meats and stews, a daube niçoise perhaps, and full-flavored cheeses.
These are beautiful wines - and great values - that will grace your table this summer. And don't be afraid to keep the rosés for the fall and winter. Products of living soils that are fermented slowly with wild yeasts, they will gain in complexity over the next few months and drink well through 2019.
The Cuvée Aubigue Blanc from Les Fouques is made from 80% Rolle (Vermentino) with 10% Clairette and 10% Ugni Blanc. It's a delicious, full-flavored Provençal white with complex aromas of apple and pear liqueur and hints of dried flowers, almond and herbs. The palate is round and ripe with white fruits, candied citrus and dense mineral and stone flavors with good acidity. A great aperitf or accompaniment to full-flavored fish dishes and asian foods. Certified biodynamic (Demeter), wild-yeast fermentation. (The wine received a well-deserved gold medal at the 2017 Concours des Vignerons Independants)
(Was $16.99) Domaine les Fouques has been certified Biodynamic (Demeter) for over 20 years, and also raises sheep, ducks, chickens and guinea-hens on their old-fashioned mixed-use farm. La Londe is their best rosé from old vines of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, and Rolle. Unlike the majority of Provençal rosés, it is made naturally with wild yeasts, giving a more subtle expression of fruit and terroir. The 2017 is a beautiful wine, lighter and brighter than the 2016 in style. The wine shows a lovely pale pink/salmon color with elegant aromas of wild strawberry, raspberry, peach and rose with hints of spice. The palate shows creamy raspberry, peach and red currant fruit with citrus peel and mineral flavors. The finish is long and refreshing with berry fruits, citrus and firm acidity, just lovely. This wine will gain complexity over the next six months and will drink beautifully through 2019. Highly recommended and a great value! David Lillie
(Was $13.99) This is one of our favorite rosés every year - the 2017 Cuvée de l'Aubigue is a sensational wine and a fabulous value - and it's drinking beautifully as we head into the summer of 2019! Made from Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Vermentino grown on soils of clay and schist near Hyères in Provence. Biodynamic farming, wild yeast fermentation. Lovely light salmon color. The nose carries beautiful aromas of delicate strawberry and white peach, along with nectarine, pink grapefruit, and white blossom. The palate on the 2017 is slightly denser and juicier than the 2016, but it is still framed by good acidity and a hint of minerality, making this a crisp and delicious everyday summer rosé. Oskar Kostecki (Arrives Monday April 22)
Primarily Grenache, with Syrah, Cinsault and Cabernet, this biodynamic red from Provence shows deep plum and blackberry fruit aromas with earth, citrus and Provençal herbs. The palate is ripe and supple with dense black fruits, prune and brown spice lifted by bright acidity. In some vintages this wine can be a bit austere and tannic when young, but the 2014 is bursting with fruit and absolutely delicious for current drinking. Serve with grilled meats and stews, a daube niçoise perhaps, and full-flavored cheeses. Great value!