Sebastien Vincenti and the wines of Domaine Fondreche

We don’t like to claim that we have the best grower in any particular region, but we will say that Fondrèche takes a back seat to no one for the quality and consistency of their wines. Certainly, they are among the most sought after wines in the Ventoux. Robert Parker calls them, “The leading reference point estate in the Côtes du Ventoux region.” And why not? Vincenti got his start apprenticing for legendary Rhône-meister André Brunel. Grapes don’t fall far from the vines, do they?

2010 looks to be a smashing success at Fondrèche and the 2010 Cuvée Fayard is a stunner. Sébastien takes a page out of Diane Puymorin’s recipe book by blending some old vine Carignan in with Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre, giving the wine its distinct garrigue character. The 2009 Cuvée Nadal is made by blending 45% old vine Grenache, 45% old vine Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre. The Syrah is fermented in 300 liter casks, the Grenache in steel tanks. This practice lends itself to create harmonious blends of flavor and texture. Parker called it “outrageously delicious” in awarding it 92 points. The 2009 Cuvée Persia is 90% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre. The wine is aged completely in barrel, has tremendous depth and can last up to a decade. Again from Parker: “super texture, a full-bodied mouthfeel and tremendous opulence as well as length. 93 points.” Finally, the masterpiece: “Il Etait Une Fois.” This is a cuvée based on a parcel of Grenache planted in 1936. Sébastien says, “I’m not trying to make Châteauneuf du Pape; I just want this old Grenache to express itself!” He has only made the cuvée once before, in 2005. It’s a wine of power and finesse, with a penetrating bouquet and staggering beauty.

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Filed under Cotes du Ventoux, French Wine, Grenache, Staff, Syrah

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