The summer of 2019 was excessively hot and produced excellent levels of maturity. The Clairette stood out particularly in this vintage for its fresh notes of fennel and lime blossom. It brings a minerality and tension that it draws from the cool depths of the Gayéere Valley. The Roussanne gives body and depth to the wine and its aromatic notes come principally from the Viognier. it is very pale in colour, with golden reflections. The nose typical of Clairette and Viognier, develops aromas of ripe fruit, apricot and sage lifted by citrus notes. The sensation of tension and minerality is immediate in the mouth. The palate is structured with notes of hazelnut and elegant aromas of honey and elderflower on the finish. All in finesse and elegance the profile of La Vallée 2019 is mineral with lightly oaky notes, the pure expression of the upper slopes of the Gayére. IWC 2020 - Trophy Winner - Best Rhône Valley White (96/100)
The Gayére Valley takes its name from the river that runs through it. It is renowned for the freshness of its marbled clay soils. Situated to the south of the village of Cairanne, below the road that runs from Cairanne to Rasteau this terroir is made up of colluvions rich in moisture retaining silt, with few stones but occasional gravel and pebbles. The clay is marbled with limestone nodules and abundant pseudo-mycelia, forming substrata that enables the vines to suffer moderate hydric stress.
The grape bunches are picked whole, by hand, into small crates of 16kg maximum, in the cool of the early morning. On arrival at the cellar the grapes pass into a vibrating hopper to preserve the integrity of the berries. They are then entirely destemmed. Following this they are directly pressed in an axially fed, closed cage pneumatic press. The whole process is gravity fed. Only the core of the press wine is retained from 0.6bars. The juice is then cold settled at 12ºC to retain only the fine lees, and seeded with selected yeasts. Fermentation takes place in thermo-regulated conditions stainless steel vats at 14-18ºC with macro-oxygenation throughout. We preserve the natural levels of malic acid by blocking malolactic fermentation. The lees are stirred into suspension before the wine is racked and then aged on fine lees. 30% of the blend is aged for 9 months in new barrels from three cooperages, selected for their unique aromatic character. The remaining 70% is matured in stainless steel vats.
The perfect companion for Gravadlax or for veal roasted in a herb crust, it could even be served to accompany a tropical fruit pavlova!