A rare Provençal biodynamic estate
Biodynamic viticulture is of surprising rarity in the Provence region given the ideal sunny and windy conditions; one outstanding practitioner is the tiny property of Domaine les Fouques, run by Yves Gros, with the wine made by daughter Christelle. Guinea fowl and chickens are also farmed here. At a mere 17 hectares and in a stunning setting, a visit here offers a somewhat mystical quality.
We are delighted to be now importing all three rosé cuvées from Fouques. These are terroir wines, make no mistake. There are consistencies of quality and style (the peach, melon and slate as the site’s signature) with vintage as the variable. Taste (or drink!) the set together and see concentration and complexity ramp up. Wines transparent of vintage and place – sound like great Burgundy, Barolo or Mosel? This serious and magnificent producer challenges many perceptions and norms of rosé.
DOMAINE LES FOUQUES CUVÉE TRADITION ROSÉ 2016
80% Grenache, 20% Cinsault.
This rosé displays a wonderfully full fruited and fleshy appeal, showing more density and textural layering than many other Provence counterparts. The low intervention winemaking throws elements of funk and texture, adding to the profile of peach, melon and wild strawberries. An energetic wine, as Yves and I concurred.
"Exotic perfume of rose petal, sour cherry, rose hip tea, savouriness. The palate is vibrant, floods the senses with flesh of strawberry and tang of rose water. The wine feels electric in acidity and lively minerally feel. It’s got a funkiness, a slippery textural element, great extension of flavour too. Very good here." 92 points, Mike Bennie, Winefront
DOMAINE LES FOUQUES CUVÉE L’AUBIGUE ROSÉ 2016
56% Grenache, 26% Syrah, 18% Cinsault.
Our first ever shipment of this cuvée, which ramps up the volume and themes of the Cuvée Tradition. From later harvested fruit, this is a denser and fleshier style, with a much more serious feel than the Tradition. Where 2015's edition was a rounder, glossier style, this has an amazing mineral presence, with a serious slate crunch running through; fruit themes remain along the same lines with melon, peach, apricot and small red berries. A foodie style which would cut beautifully through richer poultry dishes such as duck.
DOMAINE LES FOUQUES CUVÉE LA LONDE ROSÉ 2016
49% Grenache, 32% Cinsault, 11% Syrah, 8% Rolle (Vermentino).
Labelling AOP La Londe requires a lower juice yield per hectare*. Correspondingly, Fouques’ top Rosé cuvée is an expression of greater volume, concentration and complexity. More pronounced ripeness and phenolics with a bigger spectrum of melon, pomegranate and Jonathan apple fruit relative to the Cuvée Tradition Rosé, ultimately characterized by stonier mineral underpinnings and significantly greater length.
"Beautiful perfume of red cherry, red apple, sweet spice, cranberry and pomegranate fruit sweetness. Slick textured, medium weight, lively with tonic water-and-granite like mineral vein and fine, clean, tingly finish of red berry fruits and barely there tannin. It’s a cracking wine, deep in flavour and personality. Fancy rose." 93 points, Mike Bennie, Winefront
*55 hL/ha permitted for Côtes du Provence, 50hL/ha or less required for AOP La Londe.
DOMAINE LES FOUQUES CUVÉE L’AUBIGUE RED 2012
Syrah, Grenache and Cabernet
A classic Provençal red of dark fruit and saltbush. Leads with a lovely perfume of florals and rosemary herb, around a palate of dark fruits, garrigue, and salty/sweet fruity play. Tannins are grainy and ripe. As Provence reds should be, a generous style which is still easy to drink in the daytime, perfect for grazing plates and chacuterie.