Domaine les Fouques

2020 Provençal Wines from Domaine Les Fouques, Biodynamic Since 1991 - Our Best Value Rosés!

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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 free-range organic-raised birds - ducks, geese and guinea hens that fertilize the vines with a little help from a flock of sheep. The estate has been organic and Biodynamic since 1991, shortly after Yves and his wife moved to les Fouques from their organic farm near Brignoles. Yves'  daughter Christelle is now in charge with 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. During our last visit, after the most delicious and healthy lunch we've ever had, we walked the perimeter of the domain, through the forest of eucalyptus, lavender, ciste and pines - 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....

The estate is in the AOP "Cotes de Provence - La Londe" on rugged hills very close to the Mediterranean (the Massif des Maures). The vineyards are on well-drained soils of gravels and stones with iron-rich sands over bedrock of schist, with the sea moderating both high and low temperatures. All vinifications are accordng to Demeter/Biodynamic guidelines, with wild yeasts, no enzymes and minimal or zero added sulfur, creating real rosés of terroir with subtle true fruit flavors and superb minerality.

Jacque's vines, in Biodynamic farming

The Cuvée "L'Aubigue" is a beautifully supple and fruit-driven rosé made from 48% Cinsault, 34% Grenache, 11% Syrah, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Vermentino. The wine shows a beautiful salmon color and offers complex aromas of peach skins, wild flowers, brown spice, and grapefruit pith. The palate is round and refreshing with a dense mineral core. Flavors of peach, strawberry, and nectarine coalesce over cool herbal notes akin to licorice. The finish is suave and awash with citrus and stone... $14.99

The La Londe "Cuvee L'Estelle" is their best rosé from old vines of Cinsault 51%, Grenache 21%, Syrah 9%, Rolle 15% and Ugni Blanc 4%. The 2020 is a subtle and beautiful wine showing a very pale pink color and aromas of peach skin, orange peel, rose, earth and raspberry. The palate is elegant and silky with stone and saline mineral flavors beneath peach, wild strawberry, brown spice and citrus peel. The high percentage of white grapes brings delicacy and freshness. The finish is supple and long with nice density. This is a lovely rosé of terroir that will drink beautifully over the next three years. Serve with grilled fish, pork and chicken, salade Niçoise, or just sip by itself.  $18.99

Both these wines offer the joyous summery qualities of Provençal rosés with a level of subtlety and minerality that sets them apart, making them both refreshing to sip by themselves and to pair with salads, chicken and grllled meats all year. And the reasonable prices make them superb values as well!  (Please note: Delays at the port are wreaking havoc on shipments from Europe - we hope for arrival by Wednesday, May 5th or Thurs, May 6.

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A few details from their website: "The vineyard, cultivated in terraces, gains its mineral resorces from an ancient terroir with acidic soil of clay and schiste. Organic compost is applied, made and fermented at the estate and enriched by plant-based biodynamic preparations.

Biodynamic agriculture, practiced at the domaine since 1991, is a search (difficult, but very motivating) for harmony between plants, animals and man. It respects the cycles of nature (solar and lunar rhythms) and by an equilibrium between animal and plant productions it creates a durable fertility of soils without the addition of fertilizers or chemical products. The fruits of the earth and the wine are thus able to fully express the potential of the terroir. The label Demeter guarantees our practice of biodynamic agriculture.

Cover crops between rows, regenerative agriculture

The use of composts and vegetal fertilizers are the key to our living soils. Two composts are made each year, two thirds from vegetation on the estate, and our bird and animal wastes for the rest. A "young" compost is applied in the spring as fertilizer as the soil warms and begins it's bacteriologic activity, then a "mature" compost is applied in the fall as amendment to enrich the soil and create reserves.

Every second row is sown with cover crops after the harvest -  rye, vetch, clover, feveroles, mustard and fodder radishes assimilate nitrogen during their growth and then release it in the spring when they are destroyed. Agro-pastoralism is also in place, and, twice a year, 350 ewes and lambs come to the farm. These different practices are enhanced by the revitalization of preparations based on cow dung for the root parts and structures of the plant, also based on silica for the aerien parts, leaves and fruits. These also strengthen the defenses of the vine - so, natural balance makes perfect sense and has been working for 30 years now!

Ainsi, l'équilibre naturel a tout son sens et fonctionne depuis 30 ans maintenant!

 

Les Fouques 2020 Côtes de Provence Cuvée l'Aubigue Rosé

The Cuvée "L'Aubigue" is a beautifully supple and fruit-driven rosé made from 48% Cinsault, 34% Grenache, 11% Syrah, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Vermentino. The wine shows a beautiful salmon color and offers complex aromas of peach skins, wild flowers, brown spice, and grapefruit pith. The palate is round and refreshing with a dense mineral core. Flavors of peach, strawberry, and nectarine coalesce over cool herbal notes akin to licorice. The finish is suave and awash with citrus and stone. A wonderfully versatile wine, this is lovely to sip by itself and will be a seriously delicious pairing with salads, full-flavored fish dishes, chicken and grilled pork all summer and all year...

  • rosé
  • 31 in stock
  • $14.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Les Fouques 2020 Côtes de Provence La Londe Cuvee L'Estelle

 Domaine les Fouques has been certified Biodynamic (Demeter) for 30 years, and also raises sheep, ducks, chickens and guinea-hens on their old-fashioned mixed-use farm. The La Londe "Cuvee L'Estelle" is their best rosé from old vines of Cinsault 51% Grenache 21% Syrah 9% Rolle 15% Ugni blanc 4%. Unlike the majority of Provençal rosés, it is made naturally with wild yeasts, giving a more subtle expression of fruit and terroir. The 2020 is a subtle and beautiful wine showing a very pale salmon  pink color and aromas of peach skin, orange peel, rose, earth and raspberry. The palate is elegant and silky with stone and saline mineral flavors beneath very subtle red and yellow fruits, wild strawberry, hints of spice and citrus peel. The high percentage of white grapes brings delicacy and freshness. The finish is refreshing and long with nice density. This is a lovely rosé of terroir that will drink beautifully over the next three years. Serve with grilled fish, pork and chicken, salade Niçoise, or just sip by itself.  David Lillie

  • rosé
  • 31 in stock
  • $18.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic