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Chateau Malherbe Rouge - 2022
Chateau Malherbe Rouge - 2022

Chateau Malherbe Rouge - 2022

Close your eyes and picture vineyards in the Cote de Provence. Whatever you may have arrived at, it very likely resembles the idyll that is Chateau Malherbe, tucked between the wooded foothills of Cap Benat in the Port-Cros national park and the blue of the Mediterranean. From this not-to-be-believed little corner of paradise come some of the most pristinely farmed and individual wines in Provence. Originally from Lyon, Louis Ferrari (no relation) purchased Chateau Malherbe in 1940 and his grandson Serge planted vineyards in 1960 to begin producing wine. From the outset, the vines were farmed entirely without herbicides or pesticides or indeed any synthetic products. Serge’s wife Mireille Ferrari strove from the outset to treat her vines with the utmost care and respect, since this was the only way to ensure that the property would survive through generations.

Today her grandson Sebastian leads the estate, the fourth generation to tend to the property, and he has expanded on Mireille’s philosophy, achieving Demeter certification of biodynamics in 2021. Cover crops of rye and flowers are planted every year to ensure water retention and cool the soil in an area often beset by drought in the modern age. They have succeeded by engaging Jannick Utard (formerly of the estimable Domaine de la Navicelle) and Burgundy’s natural wine pioneer Philippe Pacalet. Under their guidance, the estate’s vines and wines have reached new heights.

The 2022 red is a classic blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre but power is not the first thing that comes to mind. The grapes are handled delicately and with a high percentage of whole cluster, with only the most gentle crushing. While the wine is certainly not short of the spice and wild herbal aromas the region is known for, it somehow feels delicate, marked by freshness rather than an overabundance of structure and in the end feels deeply digestible.

  • Brand: Chateau Malherbe
  • Region:Provence
  • Sub-Region:Cote de Provence
  • Varietal:Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre
  • Color:Red
  • Alcohol:14.5%
  • Size:750ml

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  • Country:France
  • Climate:Mediterranean climate, with warm Provence summers and plenty of cool sea winds
  • Harvest Technique:Hand-harvested
  • Soil:Clay, schist and shale
  • Vine Age (year planted):Grenache - 60-80 years; Mourvedre - 60-80 years; Syrah - 15-25 years
  • Fermentation:Natural yeast
  • Elevage:600L and 2500L vats
  • Winemaker Name:Jean Laburthe and Philippe Pacalet
  • Filtration:No
  • Fining:No