Cuvée Hortense from Château De La Gaude is a mix of natural winemaking and spring water
This red wine, in Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence AOP, named after the owner’s second granddaughter, combines three grape varieties, including 60% Grenache Noir, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Syrah.
These are harvested by hand in the early hours of the morning, before being sorted, not once but twice, and carried to the château’s recently completed cellar, designed by renowned architect Olivier Chadebost.
The grapes from the old vines, Grenache and Cabernet, are seeded, while the ones from Syrah are preserved. The juices are then aged for 12 months in the cellar’s original concrete vats and barrels. Hortense’s round taste, with refined hints of red and black fruits, compliments creamy cheeses and chocolate desserts perfectly, and goes down a treat with meats like duck breast. Beyond the carefully rehearsed winemaking process, part of Hortense’s unique flavour comes from Château De La Gaude’s rocky terroir, which benefits from a hidden gem – a natural spring. The spring, which has given its name to one of the domain’s three restaurants – La Source, flows deep below its Grenache plots, giving the cuvée a distinctive freshness.
Another contributing factor is the domain’s environmentally friendly approach to winemaking which has been practiced and fine tuned for the last 20 years, through an organic viticulture. The luxury vineyard, located on the heights of Aix en Provence in the department of the Bouches du Rhône will also receive its biodynamic certification in 2022 after taking many steps to ensure a 100% natural process. Buyers have the choice between keeping the cuvée for between 5 and 8 years or drinking it with their next meal. Regardless, it’s sure to leave a lasting impression.