Éric Texier > The Wines > Southern Rhône > Séguret Vieilles Vignes

CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES
Séguret Vieilles Vignes

The medieval village of Séguret is literally carved into the sheer and rocky hillside, high above the River Ouvèze. Séguret is the quintessential provincial village with cobblestone streets winding up through the narrow passages between ancient tiled roof buildings. Facing due west towards Orange, watching the sun set over the Southern Rhône valley from Séguret can be a humbling and transcendent experience.

Séguret, in the Vaucluse département, is an ancient wine region having been mentioned by Pliny, around AD 77 in Book XIV of his Natural History. Wine also prospered during the Middle Ages as a local nobleman, the Comte de Toulouse, was a noted vineyard owner in the 13th century.

  Seguret

-Predominantly Grenache
-Majority of vines are over 80 years old
-Received Villages appellation in 1967
-198 HA in production

-Harvest is usually in early October
-Northwesterly facing slope
-Soil composition of pure limestone

Vintage Notes

 

 
Village and vineyard - Seguret   
 
Wines  Éric's Séguret is a blockbuster wine of a deep dark purple color that shows best after decanting. The nose is full of sweet dark fruit, provincial spices and a touch of chocolate. The palette is lush and dense with perfectly structured tannins and well-placed acidity. This is a perfect match for poultry, pork, spicy sausage or a nice French cheese. These wine will easily age 2-6 years and a renowned wine critic even said it could stand up to top notch Châteauneuf du Pape!

Vineyards   Éric's Séguret comes from 3 vineyards. The first, called Espieux, is 99% Grenache and is set between the rocky, northwest facing cliffs and the ancient village of Séguret. The 50-year-old vines are trellised, run perpendicular to the slope and nearly meet the ancient town wall. Also below the village is the Barry vineyard. Here the vines are nearly 80 years old, also face Northwest (trellised, running perpendicular) and are 99% Grenache. In both vineyards the other 1% is Clairette and Carignan which is sporadically planted throughout because this is how vineyards were planted 50-80 years ago! Both vineyards offer a view of the entire Southern Rhône valley that is simply breathtaking.

The third vineyard, sometimes called the "secret spot," sits above the village of Séguret in a gentle bowl. It is very unusual to have enough topsoil for vines to flourish at this altitude so the yields are very low and producing even 35 HL/HA is challenging. The old Grenache vines are nearing 80 years old.

Terroir  Located 30 kilometers east of Orange, the Séguret vineyards are at the foot of the Detelles de Montmirail at about 250 meters above sea level. Both vineyards are 100% pure limestone with earthy jagged rocks scattered through the vineyards. The climate is Mediterranean with the exception that le mistral will blow her gusts. Nights and early mornings are often very cold with intense heat in the afternoon. As a result, the ripening of the Grenache is delayed and normally a few weeks later than near by Châteauneuf du Pape.

Côtes du Rhône Villages  In 1953 four villages in the Southern Rhône were making wines considered to be of higher quality than those usually produced under the generic Côtes du Rhône label. These four villages - Cairanne, Laudun, Chusclan and Gigondas were not considered to be ready for full appellation status (like those of Châteauneuf du Pape, Côte Rotie, Hermitage, etc.) but were certainly superior to the many Côtes du Rhône wines produced. Therefore the INAO (National Institute of Appellations of Origin) decided that if these villages followed agreed upon rules they would create a new status to identify their higher quality wines. Rules were laid out that governed grape varieties, yields per hectare and the minimum alcohol strength of their red wines raised from 11% to 12.5%. Producers following these rules were then allowed to market their wine as Côtes du Rhône - "Cairanne" for example and therefore to promote the distinctive characteristics of their local terroir. After two additional villages joined this illustrious group (Vacqueyras in 1955 and Vinsobres in 1957) a common title was created in 1967 to apply to all of the wines: Côtes du Rhône Villages. Today there are 16 villages with this status.

 

CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES
Séguret Vieilles Vignes 2001

2001 began with a mild winter that was followed by a warm and wet spring with above average temperatures. Flowering started towards the beginning of May and June and July continued to be warm with heavy rainfall in July. August was hot and dry with temperatures reaching 33°C resulting in the grapes reaching a good maturity. September brought le mistral, which continued for nearly 2 weeks. Harvest commenced in early October.

The 2001 Séguret Vieilles Vignes has a huge nose of ripe dark fruit sitting on top of a base of Provencal herbs. With its supple mouth and elegant round tannins, it is unusual for a Côtes du Rhône Villages wine in that it makes a wonderul appertif as well as the perfect match for wild boar, venison or lamb. This vintage should be enjoyed in its youth and will benefit from a slight chilling before served.

 

Blend: Predominantly Grenache
Alcohol: 14% by volume

 

Suggested Aging: up to 5 years
Cases Produced: 2,300

 

 

© 2003 Éric Texier