Les Hauts de Valcombe Ventoux Rouge
There are twenty-eight hectares of vineyards at Chateau Valcombe which is situated at an altitude of 1000 feet and in the shadow of Mont Ventoux. Four red grape varieties (Syrah, Carignan, Grenache and Cinsault) and four white grape varieties (Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Bourboulenc) are planted and the average age of the vines is 50 years (as of 2011). Certain parcels of Carignan and Grenache were planted in 1936 (making them 75 years old as of 2011). The soils are essentially limestone and are covered with the famous “galets” of that area, large round rocks worn smooth by the movement of the Rhone River. Deep in the subsoil of Valcombe one also finds the unusual blue-inflected clay (“bleu argile”) that helps define the unique characteristics of the wines of Valcombe. The harvest here is exclusively by hand with a strict sorting occurring in the vineyard.
Les Hauts de Valcombe is a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah from exclusively north-facing vineyards, and this less-sun-drenched exposition keeps the wine fresh, balanced, and agile. Harvest takes place at night to ensure the healthiest possible fruit entering the cellar, and fermentation begins spontaneously and lasts for around ten days—again keeping the wine relatively light on its feet. Both fermentation and aging take place in the traditional cement vats of the region, and sulfur is applied to the wine only just prior to bottling, and in homeopathic amounts. The wine combines an appealing ripeness with a spice-tinged, savory streak—the mark of a relatively high percentage of Syrah in the blend.
Their vineyards have been Certified Organic (ECOCERT) since 2013.