Domaine Les Grand Bois
Tucked away in a back street in the village of Ste Cecile les Vignes this property was in fact founded in 1929 (so perhaps 'new' would be the wrong word!) by Albert Farjon. Today, it is professionally run by his grand daughter Mireille with her husband Marc Besnardeau, who previously trained and worked as a Sommelier in Paris. The domaine comprises 46 hectares spread over seven communes including Cairanne and Ste Cecile. Over three-quarters of the vines were planted before 1950 with one particular vineyard planted in 1902. There is something extraordinary in the way this estate is run. Speaking at length with Marc it becomes apparent that he has worked out precisely what he wants and how to achieve it. All the vineyards are organic and tended with great care. Yields are very conservative. All the grapes are selected at harvest time and de-stemmed before fermentation in stainless steel cuves. After fermentation the wines are racked by gravity in to epoxy lined cement vats and from there a selection is made and aged in a mixture of new and old barriques. There is no fining and absolutely no filtration. Tasting the various cuves, whether in tank or barrel and one has the sense that here is a wine maker on top of his game. Each wine has something to say, a place on the market and distinction that sets it apart from any other wine in the area, whether it be a humble Cotes du Rhone or a perfectly crafted Cairanne.