Fertilizing at Les Fouques

2022 Rosés from Domaine Les Fouques; 2021s from Bastide Blanche and Ch. de Manissy!

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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. The 2022 vintage at Les Fouques, as in much of France, brought excellent ripeness, but with less alcohol than in 2018 through 2020 and with lovely fresness and a silky texture. Biodynamic farming, great terroir and wild yeast fermentations make these among the very finest rosés of Provence. The 2022s are simply delicious - enjoy the "Cuvée Aubigue" over the next 2 years, while the "Estelle" will drink well through 2025. These will sell out before our next shipment arrives, so stock up for June and July!

2021 Bastide Blanche Bandol

A few weeks ago, we had a chance to taste the 2021 Bastide Blanche and it really is showing beautifully. (Only 5 cases are left!) The estate farms with organic and biodynamic methods and makes a particularly delicious direct-press rosé, fermented with only wild yeasts. The 2021 was made with Mourvèdre, Grenache, Cinsault, Clairette and Ugni Blanc. There is plenty of elegance and structure that you'd expect from a Bandol rosé, but it's still bright and full of energy - our colleague Mariko referred to it as a "happy Bandol," which is an apt description. The fruit is subtle and pretty and the minerality is sleek and stony, with great acidity that would make this a hit at any barbecue. It's an incredible value for a very serious rosé!

2021 Ch. de Manissy Tavel "Tête de Cuvée"

Label in use since 1915

We're reminding you about the Chateau de Manissy "Tête de Cuvee," as the quantity available of this unique wine is quite limited. Produced since 1915, this is the historic cuvée of Chateau de Manissy, retaining the ancient label and the ancient methods of production, now enhanced by Biodynamic farming. Similar in style to the Tavel 'Vintage" of Domane L'Anglore, the wine is a blend of Grenache, Clairette and Cinsault that undergoes a 24 to 48 hour maceration on the skins and then a cool fermentation with wild yeasts for about 2 weeks. The wine ages in large, old barrels for 12 months. (2021 is the new release which has just arrived in NY) This is a true Rosé of gastronomy, showing aromas of fruit confit, flowers and spice with a silky, cool palate with a red wine feel, finishing with red currant, tart cherry and saline minerals. This is an extraodinary Rosé that is delicious now and that will develop beautifully with time in the cellar. ...can live 10 to 20 years if well cellared, drink with melon & cured ham salad, grilled meats, magret de canard (duck breasts), veal meatballs, white meats, chicken breast, guinea fowl with mushrooms & chestnuts” says the estate. Only about 400 cases are made.

Domaine les Fouques, Vallons des Borels, 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 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 predominantly from Cinsault with Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Vermentino (aka Rolle). 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... $16.99!

The La Londe "Cuvée L'Estelle" is their best rosé from old vines of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Rolle (Vermentino). The 2022 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 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

2020 La Londe "Cuvée L'Estelle" Rouge is a vibrant full-bodied red made from Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Mourvedre and Cabernet Sauvignon, certified Biodynamic (Demeter). on the nose, there is a lovely mélange of black cherry, pepper and candied ginger. The palate is rich and ripe, with soft tannins and fresh fruit. The finish is the highlight of the wine: a back and forth medley of red fruit, lavender, black currant, smoke and bell pepper. A wonderful accompaniment to grilled meats or veggies ths summer....

The 2021 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 lemon and pear liqueur and hints of dried flowers, almond , stone and herbs. The palate is round and ripe with white fruits, citrus, anise and dense mineral and stone flavors with good acidity. This unique and delicious wine is a superb value!

The Les Fouques wines are among the very finest of Provence, with a level of subtlety, complexity and minerality that sets them apart, making them both refreshing to sip by themselves or to pair with salads, fish, chicken and grllled meats all year. And the reasonable prices make them superb values as well! 

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!

10% case/mixed case discount applies, please allow 2 - 3 days before pick-up/shipping

Les Fouques 2022 Côtes de Provence La Londe "Cuvée 'Estelle"

(List price $18.99) 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 Grenache 49% Cinsault 36% Syrah 11% Rolle 4%. Unlike the majority of Provençal rosés, it is made naturally with wild yeasts, giving a more subtle expression of fruit and terroir. The 2022 is a subtle and beautiful wine showing a very pale salmon  pink color and aromas of peach skin, orange peel, rose, earth and raspberry, very pretty and folral. 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 and perfectly balanced at 13% alcohol. 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
  • 40 in stock
  • no discount
  • $15.19

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Les Fouques 2020 Côtes de Provence La Londe "Estelle" Rouge

The beautiful 2020 Les Fouques "Estelle" Rouge is 71% Syrah, 22% Grenache, 4% Carignan, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, certified Biodynamic (Demeter). Tucked away in the Vallons des Borels, the estate illustrates biodiversity at its finest: vines, forests of eucalyptus, pines, even wild boars share a spatial harmony on the property. Harmony is key in a wine like the Cuvée L’Estelle - on the nose, there is a lovely mélange of black cherry, spiced plum, rose, smoke and candied ginger. The palate is rich and ripe, with soft tannins and fresh fruit. The finish is the highlight of the wine: a back and forth medley of red fruit, black currant, smoke and earth. A wonderful accompaniment to grilled meats ths summer....

  • red
  • 1 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur
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Les Fouques 2022 Côtes de Provence Cuvée l'Aubigue Rosé

Year after year, Yves Gros, Christelle and Jacques at the Biodynamic Domaine les Fouques make our favorite Provençal rosés. This is what they say about the 2022 Cuvee Aubigue: "Cinsault 62% Grenache 15% Syrah 17% Cabernet Sauvignon 4% Rolle 2%, (alcohol 12.5%) "Very pale pink color with melon nuances. The first aromas are concentrated, evoking ripe yellow fruits such as apricot and peach. After swirling, it's flat peach with white flesh, subtly enhanced by spices of white pepper and ginger. The palate is imposing, well structured, ample; dominated by notes of white peach but also by fresh citrus which reinforces the iodized side of this cuvée and gives it a certain freshness on the finish." We say...  "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...complex, subtle, refreshing and delicious - buy it by the case as we do run out from time to time...

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
  • 0 in stock
  • $15.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Les Fouques 2021 Côtes de Provence Aubigue Blanc

(Arrives June 1st) 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 lemon and pear liqueur and hints of dried flowers, almond , stone and herbs. The palate is round and ripe with white fruits, citrus, anise and dense mineral and stone flavors with good acidity. The 2021 is a bit lighter and fresher than the 2020, making it a great aperitf or accompaniment to full-flavored fish dishes and asian foods. Certified Biodynamic (Demeter) Fantastic value!  David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $15.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Bastide Blanche 2021 Bandol Rosé

(Arrives 6/13 last bottles!) Some of the most elegant rosés in the world come from the varied limestone terroirs of Bandol, along the Mediterranean, where Mourvedre is the primary cepage blended with Grenache and Cinsault. The wines often take 2 to 5 years or more to reach maturity, so we're happy to have the 2021 Bastide Blanche which is showing beautifully in 2023.  The estate farms with organic and biodynamic methods and makes a particularly delicious direct-press rosé, fermented with only wild yeasts. There is plenty of elegance and structure that you'd expect from a Bandol rosé, but it's still bright and full of energy - our colleague Mariko referred to it as a "happy Bandol," which is an apt description. The fruit is subtle but pretty and the minerality is sleek and stony, with great acidity that would make this a hit at any barbecue. It's an incredible value for a very serious rosé.

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
  • 0 in stock
  • $21.99

  • Organic

Manissy 2021 Tavel Tête de Cuvée Rosé

(Retasted in June 2023, the wine is showing even better with gorgeous fruit and fabulous length!) Produced since 1915 this is the historic cuvée of Chateau de Manissy, retaining the ancient label and the ancient methods of production, now enhanced by Biodynamic farming. Similar in style to the Tavel 'Vintage" at Domane L'Anglore, the wine is a blend of Grenache, Clairette and Cinsault that undergoes a 24 to 48 hour maceration on the skins and then a cool fermentation with wild yeasts for about 2 weeks. The wine ages in old barrels for 9 to 12 months. This is a true Rosé of gastronomy that will drink beautifully for ten years or more.  Showing a slightly darker hue than the 2020 vintage, it exudes bright aromas of pomegranate, red flowers and spice with a silky, cool palate and a  light red wine feel,  with flavors of red currant, tart cherry and saline minerals. "Can live 10 to 20 years if well cellared, drink with melon & cured ham salad, grilled meats, magret de canard (duck breasts), veal meatballs, white meats, chicken breast, guinea fowl with mushrooms & chestnuts" says the estate, or just sip by itself on a summer evening...

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
  • 0 in stock
  • $26.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur