To Beaumes de Venise for a rendezvous with the Bouletin family, very lovely people making wonderful wines…not particularly well known outside the area.. but on the strength of my tasting deserve to be. Jerome and Fabienne Bouletin’s 30ha estate is unusual in that it comprises Vacqueyras, dessert Muscat and from the 2009 vintage Cru level Beaumes de Venises reds all under one roof..a result of the marriage between families from the two villages. The wines are all made at the winery just on the edge of Beaumes de Venise however…around 50% of sales are from the caveau here, the balance local sales, plus export to Belgium, Holland, and just a little to the USA. I went up with Jerome to the magnificent setting for the 8ha of Muscat they own overlooking the village, sandy soils here, all white Muscat a Petit Grains. The wines: Muscats at Bouletin come in 3 cuvees, tradition, semi sweet and dry…the tradition is gorgeous, light in colour , very aromatic on the nose and the honeyed sweetness on the palate perfectly balanced against freshness, the finish clean and pure. The Vacqueyras comes in two cuvees, a tradition and an oaked aged superior version…both lovely wines , for my money the tradition a perfect example of Rhone wines at this level/price point - a melange of ripe fruit, compote and Provencal herb , smooth tannins and a little sweetness in the lingering finish. Bien fait…superb! La Madelene guests will be visiting Bouletin this year for sure.