CHÂTEAU LA CANORGUE, Bonnieux Organic
“This 30-ha property in Luberon owned by Jean-Pierre Margan is already organic and part biodynamic. Its south-facing slopes are warmer than many in the AOC and the Syrah-dominated red wines (balanced with Grenache, Mourvedre and Carignan) are one of the best structured and most articulate wines of the AOC, with bright, pure herb-cherry scents and flavour” Andrew Jefford, THE NEW FRANCE
Indeed Jean-Pierre Margan and his daughter Nathalie are dedicated winegrowers and produce top quality wines. Their vineyards are on calcareous clay soils and receive countless hours of sunshine. The winery and house are built on an ancient Roman villa and its name derives from the water canalisations dug in the rock by the Romans.
Although Jean-Pierre and Nathalie are the 5th and 6th generation of winegrowers at La Canorgue, it is Jean-Pierre and his wife who resurrected the abandoned vineyards. After years of hard labour, they produce their first harvest in 1977.
The grapes are organically grown for the past 25 years and a few Biodynamic principles are also applied in pursuit of the ultimate quality, but also to preserve the sheer beauty of the site and its exceptional environment. No chemical fertilizers are used, no herbicides, no pesticides, the soils are ploughed regularly, grapes are hand-picked by a team of regulars, who come year after year for the harvest; yields are kept very low.
Jean-Pierre is often heard saying that his cellar is a successful alliance between tradition and modernism. The old pressoir still stands in the middle of a cathedral of stainless-steel vats.
No yeasts selection, nature is left to its own device, and the wines are not filtered in order to keep as much of the aromas as possible.
Low yielding (30hl/ha) Syrah (70%), Grenache and old vine Carignan are found in Château la Canorgue Red. This unfiltered beauty sings of Provence. The sweet-scented nose is packed with summer fruits, on the palate, soft and ripe strawberry and cherry abounds, followed by a touch of pepper, anise, leather just a hint of the wild herbs (thyme, rosemary) that grow abundantly around the vineyards.