DOMAINE CHAUME-ARNAUD, Vinsobres Biodynamic
Domaine Chaume-Arnaud is biodynamically managed and comprises of 38 ha of vineyards planted on slopes and terraces around the picturesque villages of Vinsobres and Saint-Maurice, near Nyons.
The altitude, between 200 to 450m, and the cool wind from the nearby Alps (the Pontias) keep the temperature lower than the neighbouring villages and contribute to the natural freshness and complexity of the wines.
The soils are stony and poor on the slopes and richer on the terraces. Harvest in done by hand and yields are kept very low.
In the early eighties, Valérie took over the estate from her father, who was a figure in the area, having set up the first cooperative in Saint-Maurice. But Valérie was not interested in selling her grapes in bulk so, very soon after, she started to bottle her own wine. She was joined by her husband in 1987 and together, they have built one of the most reliable Domaine in the region, their passion, attention to details and natural methods of viticulture result in wines with great purity, tension and freshness.
With the arrival of their son Thibaud, the focus is to have the healthy, biodynamically grown fruits shine into the wines; winemaking is resolutely low intervention and no additives (albeit a tiny amount of SO2) are used.
The Côtes du Rhône rouge is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% each of Syrah and Cinsault. Although it always punches way above its weight, the 2018 is a bomb of sheer deliciousness and drinkability. It is expressive, open-knit, juicy with an attractive touch of yeast, then ripe, soft hedgerow fruits, spice, stones, gravel. The palate dry, mid-weight, very juicy with black fruits and tapenade and gravelly minerality. Length on the finish, impeccable balance and so digestible.