Domaine Gourt de Mautens Vaucluse Rouge 2016
For many years Jérôme Bressy helped establish the reputation of Rasteau but when the AOC began to limit the varieties permitted in the wines labelled Rasteau, Jérôme decided to leave the appellation and bottle his wines as IGP Vaucluse. Made entirely from estate fruit grown in the village of Rasteau, Jérôme’s rouge is a blend of Grenache, Carignan, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Counoise, Cinsault, Vaccarèse, and Terret Noir from vines between 30 and 100 years old. The exposure of these low-bearing, head-pruned vines is northwest and southwest – providing both freshness and power to the final blend. Harvested by hand and triple sorted the grapes are crushed and fermented in tronconic vats by indigenous yeasts then aged in concrete, foudres and demi-muids.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The Gourt de Mautens was created in 1996 in Rasteau in the southern Rhone Valley. The winegrower, Jerome Bressy, was only 23 when he made his first vintage in a converted hangar on his parents' farm. In 1989, Jerome's father, Yves Bressy, decided to convert the entire vineyard to organic farming, but the grapes would continue to be delivered to the cooperative winery in the tradition of several generations of the Bressy family.
At the time, the switch in farming method was not an easy one especially for a grower in a cooperative, but the sacrifices made by his parents allowed Jerome to begin with a healthy vineyard. The entire family supported him in his new project, as he was the first Bressy to take up the art of winemaking.
In 1998, the estate's wine cellar was built. Jerome Bressy fulfilled his childhood dream by setting up the entire estate and making its wines. He now wishes to continue pursuing a precise, natural and artisanal viticulture as long as possible.
A long and narrow valley producing flavorful red, white, and rosé wines, the Rhône is bisected by the river of the same name and split into two distinct sub-regions—north and south. While a handful of grape varieties span the entire length of the valley, there are significant differences between the two zones in climate and geography as well as the style and quantity of wines produced. The Northern Rhône, with its continental climate and steep hillside vineyards, is responsible for a mere 5% or less of the greater region’s total output. The Southern Rhône has a much more Mediterranean climate, the aggressive, chilly Mistral wind and plentiful fragrant wild herbs known collectively as ‘garrigue.’
In the Northern Rhône, the only permitted red variety is Syrah, which in the appellations of St.-Joseph, Hermitage, Cornas and Côte-Rôtie, it produces velvety black-fruit driven, savory, peppery red wines often with telltale notes of olive, game and smoke. Full-bodied, perfumed whites are made from Viognier in Condrieu and Château-Grillet, while elsewhere only Marsanne and Roussanne are used, with the former providing body and texture and the latter lending nervy acidity. The wines of the Southern Rhône are typically blends, with the reds often based on Grenache and balanced by Syrah, Mourvèdre, and an assortment of other varieties. All three northern white varieties are used here, as well as Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Bourbelenc and more. The best known sub-regions of the Southern Rhône are the reliable, wallet-friendly Côtes du Rhône and the esteemed Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Others include Gigondas, Vacqueyras and the rosé-only appellation Tavel.
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.