Varieties: Grenache (52%), Carignan (48%)
Bottle size: 750 mL
We think our 2015 is one of the best wines we have ever made, combining much of the richness of the 2010 and 2011 with a delicious freshness and juiciness.
Eyes: A deep black-red
Nose: Vibrant blackcurrant nose, with hints of vanilla, and fleeting notes of fennel and rosemary
Mouth: This is enormously concentrated, and reminds me of when I used to buy half a pound of wine-gums, and cram all of the black ones into my mouth at the same time. Intense, mouthwatering flavours, and gorgeously ripe, rounded tannins. As the initial charm of the fruit subsides, there is a great deal of slatey minerality that powers through to a huge finish. Yum.
Recommended food pairings: Great with grilled red meat, hearty stews, barbequed food, and hard cheeses.
Winemaker: Justin Howard-Sneyd and Jean-Marc Lafage
Growing conditions: High winds in May during flowering limited the yield somewhat, but a hot and largely dry June and July gave way to a cooler, damper August. We were a little worried by the humid sea breezes at the end of August, but the Tramontane kicked in in September, and we had a wonderful, warm, dry month. A few rainstorms at the end of Sept caused us some concern, but we harvested a large and healthy crop in good conditions.
Winemaking notes: We have now been working with Jean-Marc and his team at Chateau St Roch for 4 years now, and we are improving our winemaking all the time. All are grapes for Domaine of the Bee were hand harvested, and then hand-sorted at the winery to ensure we only chose the healthiest and ripest grapes. The majority of our Carignan is fermented in a stainless steel tank, except for 2 barrels-worth which was fold-macerated, as was all of the Grenache in upturned demi-muids (500L barrels) with the ends taken out, before being warmed up, inoculated with yeast, and gently punched down 2-3 times a day.
After pressing, all of the wine was drained into a mixture of 500L and 225L barrels, approximately a quarter of which are new, and left to mature for 14 months.
2017 - 2027
The Sunday Telegraph -
Jancis Robinson MW
: 16.5/20 pts
Decanter Magazine -
: 92 pts