Perestrello Geller continues his quest to unearth the best Provence wine.
I’ve decided this wine journalism business is a right old lark. First you learn the lingo: terroir, appellation and all that nonsense. Then you mix in a fair share of bombast and bob’s your uncle you’ve got 500 words on this vineyard or that. Let’s face it most of us, with a couple of cotton wool buds shoved up our noses and a blindfold on, couldn’t confidently tell the difference between red and white wine. So it’s all marketing and reputation and old farts at wine magazines having their egos flattered by fawning vignerons.
Once in a while though a wine comes along that makes you sit-up, purr with pleasure and start planning an extension to the cellar. I’d lunched with Claude Garcia recently, the Guru’s resident chef and she’d served a Chateau Revelette rosé to accompany her Poulet au Pastis. Now Claude knows a thing or two about food and wine, and would probably pass the cotton wool up the nose test, so when she chooses a particular wine, I take notice. The rosé had impressive length in the mouth (see I’m doing the wine journo thing again) was full bodied with notes of ripe summer berries on the nose (easy isn’t it).
It was more than good enough to pique my curiosity and so when driving past Jouques recently I pulled in for a visit. I’m a fan of vineyards that still have that family feel, where the link between man or woman and the grape has not been broken by some spanking new sheeny-shiny cave come tourist centre.
Chateau Revelette didn’t disappoint. You follow a long drive up to a large old farmhouse. Chickens wander freely in the grounds and the tasting room is squeezed into what must once have been an old storage area. There’s a nice view towards Mont Saint Victoire and surrounding vines practically lap the walls of the house.
Before I get on to the reason for my cellar extension, readers might want to note that the Chateau has an open door weekend shortly before Christmas every year and also organises a summer wine walk followed by a gastronomic lunch cooked by the chefs of Ze Bistro and the Millefeuille in Aix. Details of the open door dates on the Chateau’s website and the summer walk and meal on www.envie-epicurieuse.fr .
[Article continues after gallery]
Now onto the reason I was purring with pleasure: the Grand Rouge 2012 of Chateau Revelette made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. At the tasting I was obliged to do the usual wine rigmarole: awaken the liquid with a swift twirl of the wrist, and plant my nose deep into the glass. Now you can’t smell sunshine, but somehow the best Provencal wines carry a memory of it in their rich herby scent. The colour was a deep luscious come-and-get-me boudoir purple. Oh and the taste, enough to make me sit down, hold my wine glass up in awe and contemplate the generosity of the gods, in granting man the ingenuity to produce such nectare.
Blindfold me, stick cotton wool up my nose, tie me to a chair and spin me around one hundred times, and I guarantee I’d still be able to pick the Grand Rouge (price €25 per bottle) from any selection of wines offered to me.
Go and get some now before my cellar’s big enough to hold the entire production of the vineyard.
To finish with here’s a nice little interview with Peter Fischer, the owner of Chateau Revelette:
To keep up to date with our reviews of Provence vineyards subscribe to the quarterly newsletter:
For more vineyard reviews visit our Provence wine page