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Southern Rhône, France

Domaine Charmasson Vin de France Balazu des Vaussieres Blanc 2013

Grenache Blanc 50%, Clairette, Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier, Bourboulenc
Organic Status:
Certified Biodynamic
14.00% (Number on label may differ)
From Nadia and Christian Charmasson’s biodynamic estate in Tavel, the white shows another face of the Charmasson natural approach to wine making. This is a blend based on Grenache Blanc and really shows the oily, herbal, stone fruit character of the terroir. Wine making is by hand and very simple, some skin contact, no additives whatsoever, no sulfites. The wine MUST have some aeration, being a living wine with energy that’s been kept in bottle for nearly two years!
Tasting Notes:
Rosemary and thyme, baked apple, white peach, white tea and undeniably stony aromas lead into a soft and luscious palate with gentle acidityfresh and just a touch of tannin to lend texture and energy. With aeration, the fruit becomes more honeyed. It caresses and uplifts the palate.
Vintage Notes:
2013 will go down as one of the more difficult years in the last 20 in the Southern Rhône due to a cool wet spring, with coulure seriously reducing the overall crop, especially the Grenache, and delayed ripening. A wet winter was followed by a wet and cool spring. Not until June did fine weather arrive. Despite, finally, a fine, hot, dry summer, the growing season never caught up with itself from this slow start. But fine weather held enabling the harvest to take place particularly late. 2013 has produced a raft of delicious wines, perfectly ripe but lighter and fresher than usual, with usually less Grenache in the blend than usual.
Nadia and Christian own 1.3 hectares of vines of white grapes at St Agricole (!) in the commune of Roquemaure just west of the Rhône river across from Châteauneuf. On south-facing slopes of clay, sand and galets, the vines are trained traditionally in free-standing gobelet. The vines are around 30 years old and yield less than 15 hl/ha. Biodynamically farmed to re-set the balance and health of the grapes. The climate is Mediterranean with the northerly Mistral wind to benefit the vines.
The grapes are harvested by hand at the end of September into small platters, to protect the fruit and to be able to remove any not perfectly ripe and healthy. As soon as they're picked, they're moved into a refrigerated truck in the vineyard at 6ºC. This protects against any oxidation or risk of fermentation. In the cellar, the whole bunches are very gently pressed into stainless steel tank to ferment slowly during 2 months with only wild yeasts and no other additions whatsoever including sulphur. After the ferment finished, the wine was racked once and aged on its fine lees for 4 months. Basically, the wine made itself! The wine was bottled by gravity, with no fining, nor filtration in the Spring.
1,300 bottles (108 cases)
Liberation, June 2013, recommends: Charmasson Blanc "It was a curious wine, very aromatic, without any heaviness, thanks to its lively acidity and nice point of bitterness. Living, sensitive, different."  
Product Code:
¥3,456 / bottle SRP inc. tax

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