Domaines of the Southern Rhone (3 nights)
Our 3 night wine tour is the perfect introduction to the region which Robert Parker describes as: “The greatest quality/price ratio of any top red wine region in the world”
Settling in/Briefing/Champagne apero/Fine Wine Dinner
Arrive at La Madelene in the late afternoon, around 5pm is ideal; settle in, introduction to weeks programme, at around 6pm:”Rhone Wine Briefing” from Philip, a concise “everything you need to know about the wines you are going to be tasting over the days ahead”, history, geography, varieties and their character, appellation system, viticulture and vinification – we keep the education light but informative and fun! Its followed by a Champagne aperitif (usually a vintage Larmandier-Bernier, superb artisanal organic producer) on the terrace, dinner chez La Madelène – if the weather is decent it will be al fresco on the terrace, or in the old Chapel dining room. We will taste two fine wines over dinner, perhaps a white Vacqueyras 2007 bio-dynamic masterpiece from Domaine Montirius followed by a fine red Chateauneuf du Pape such as a Vieux Telegraph 2007. A Muscat de Beaumes de Venise will accompany your dessert.
Crus/CduR Villages/Ventoux/Al Fresco Family Lunch/Provencal Restaurant Dinner
In the morning we set out to visit two of the best estates aong the Dentelles de Monmirail escarpment. You will taste at either the Brechet family’s estate “Domaine des Bosquets” at Gigondas, one of the oldest estates of the appellation with a stellar reputation, or the family estate Domaine Goubert producers of excellent barrique aged Gigondas “Cuvée Florence”, as well as Domaine Mourchon at Seguret , one of the best of the Cotes du Rhone villages and currently achieving Parker scores of 92-94, remarkable for the appellation. Lunch at La Madelene on the terrace.
In the afternoon we might visit the rising stars of the Ventoux appellation, for example Even Bakke`s Clos du Trias, or Philippe Gimel`s Saint Jean de Barroux – Philippe is a live wire vigneron with boundless energy and passion for his craft , he has just been rewarded with the first ever Parker 95 score for a Ventoux wine. An option this afternoon is a visit to the best producer of Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, Domaine Bernardins. Returning to La Madelène we will take our aperitif on the terrace before setting out for a four-course meal at one of our favourite restaurants such as St. Hubert at Entrechaux, or Pont de L`Orme at Malaucene. We generally take with us to the table a top notch magnum of one of our favourite Chateauneufs.
Chateauneuf du Pape/Provencal Restaurant Lunch/Fine Wine Dinner
Your third day takes you straight to the pride of the southern Rhone: Chateauneuf du Pape. We will visit and taste at four exceptional estates. Example itinerary: Firstly, perhaps to Domaine Pegau , internationally famous wines made by the appellation’s premier female wine maker Laurence Feraud, followed by Domaine Solitude, a producer whose lineage is traceable to servants of the Avignon popes. and where we will be treated to a tasting in their private tasting room. Lunch today is at the restaurant Verger des Papes just below the ruin of the old Papal summer palace, after which we conclude our Chateauneuf day with a visit to Chateau La Nerthe with it’s stunning 18th century chateau and ancient cellars, and finally the artisanal Jean-Paul Versino`s Bois de Boursan – producer of sublime very traditional reds, especially Cuvée Felix. We return to La Madelène in time for you to recharge, perhaps play petanque on our court, or swim and get ready for your aperitif on the terrace before we serve a four- course dinner, on the terrace when the weather is fine. Dinner will be accompanied by some mature examples of Gigondas and Chateauneuf du Pape, perhaps a 2003 Goubert Cuvee Florence and a 2001 Beaucastel. Another dessert wine , a Muscat or a sweet Rasteau ( Grenache grape) will accompany your dessert.
The tour concludes after breakfast.
Extend your stay?
Why not extend your stay to sightsee/ visit a few more domains under your own steam (we are always happy to advise): you can keep your room on a chambres d`hotes basis. Contact us for information on chambre d’hotes rates.
Price per person:
Sharers € 1475
Singles € 1575
For information on 3 Night Wine Tour dates please see Availability