Anne Pichon Sauvage Syrah Grenache 2019
Blend: 80% Syrah, 20% Grenache
Anne Pichon and her late husband, Marc Pichon, started an agrarian-bohemian life together in the 1990’s when they moved into an abandoned farm house at the base of Mont Ventoux. The began to resurrect a defunct Domaine called Murmurium, meaning “the buzzing song of bees.” And while the 15 hectare vineyard was in poor shape, the site was properly organic for many years leading up to Anne and Marc’s stewardship. Today, Anne produces no more than 40 barrels of wine for T. Edward along with her sister-in-law Véronique who manages the commercial affairs. The wines themselves are named “Sauvage” inspired by the Pichons’ respect for and attachment to nature.
The micro-climate Anne Pichon’s vineyard is dry, with cool, manually tilled soils that retain moisture when it rains. And because of the Mistral that sweeps up from the hills below, fruit is less susceptible to rot and disease, providing and ideal environment for organic viticulture. Employing careful vineyard management, low yields and late harvesting, Pichon hand-harvests and destems all of the fruit.
Reds are vinified in small 50 HL cement tanks or stainless steel, at low temperature to achieve a long maceration and two gentle pump overs daily, with additional manual punch downs if necessary. The fermentations extend 3 to 4 weeks with a slow progressive increase in temperature to extract a very fine tannin structure. The malolactic fermentation and ageing take place partly in oak barrels but mostly in cements tanks. White wines are made from only a light pressing of first run juice and vinified in stainless steel tanks with strict temperature control to maintain a balance of ripe fruit and freshness.
Stretching across the slopes of the Ventoux mountain in the southeastern region of the Rhône River Valley, Cotes du Ventoux excels in the production of spicy and characterful red blends based on Grenache, Syrah, and other indigenous varieties. The region also produces rich and aromatic whites and rosés.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.