Organic Côtes du Rhône Villages from the rarely seen terroir of Visan

Domaine La Florane is an exciting find which further broadens the options of excellent Southern Rhône wines available in Australia.  The 35 hectare property is situated on a south-facing slope at the highest point of the Visan appellation (elevation is 195 – 320 metres), viticulture is certified organic (biodynamic practice) and the winery has been purpose built to maximize use of gravity, with wines matured in wood and concrete.  A key philosophy is that no stylistic blending is practiced at the estate the same blocks make up the same cuvées each year, showcasing the season.

Few Visan wines are seen in Australia.  The hilly village is located around 10km north of Cairanne, with vines grown in clay-limestone soils.  Domaine La Florane’s terroir is gravelly and scattered with large round pebbles; its aspect and high limestone content coupled with the steady mistral wind raises wines of freshness and invigorating natural acidity. Visan was granted Côtes du Rhône Villages appellation status in 1966.


Domaine La Florane À Fleur de Pampre Rosé 2016

Côtes du Rhône Villages Visan. Cinsault, Carignan and Grenache

Grown and made as a rosé from the get go (not a concentrator for reds), this is tight, zippy and Provençal in feel, weight and colour, but differs in fruit and mineral profiles.  Maintains the estate’s hallmark of freshness, with citrus and watermelon fruit and sharp definition from its inland origins.  Humming acidity.  Taut and tense, a markedly different expression of the Southern Rhône to the broader Tavel style.

 

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Domaine La Florane À Fleur de Pampre Blanc 2016

Côtes du Rhône Villages Visan. Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier

Visan's aspect, mineral rich soil and mistral winds make it a great part of the Southern Rhône to grow whites (and pinks).  Rather than the broader, estery style of some white Rhônes this certainly keeps on its toes.  Textural, fresh and with a stony mineral edge, this is simply a delicious glass to glasser.  Pulpy and perky, has a fullness beyond its weight, refreshing with an array of stone fruits and honeysuckle carrying through to the finish. 

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Domaine La Florane À Fleur de Pampre ROUGE 2015

Côtes du Rhône Villages Visan. 90% Grenache, 10% Syrah.

An easy wine to love.  "Boovability," says vigneron Adrien Fabre, "a wine you can just drink," is what this is all about.  "When blending, I place a bottle of this on my parents' dinner table.  If the bottle is not finished in that meal, the blend is not right!"

Sourced from the estate's lower blocks, fermented naturally in concrete and rested in stainless before bottling, this is a beautifully pure and easy drinking style.  A well regarded vintage sees this with a little more concentration and spice than usual, a slightly wild nose giving away to a clean streak of an array of black fruit woven though clove and spice, with pleasantly ripe and grippy fruit tannin.  A CdR for Pinot drinkers.

Domaine La Florane 'florescens' ROUGE 2014

Côtes du Rhône Villages Visan. 90% Grenache, 10% Syrah.

Coming from the estate's mid way blocks. Same cépage as Fleur de Pampre red with the only winemaking difference being half of the juice receiving 9 months in third fill 600 litre barrels.  A minor oak influence, the difference here is first and foremost site, with vintage playing a lesser role and winemaking lesser still. 

Intense.  A lot fuller and more concentrated, with heady violet and dark berry perfume leading a lively palate of stewed plums, black cherries, and an impression of meatiness and an ever so slight saline note to the tannins.  Has a vibrancy and energy around its power, it’s a pretty special release.