The ‘Comté de Grignan’ appellation is the only ‘small designation’ permitted in the South of France for a sparking wine. We call it tradition. Situated on the edge of the Alps, the bottom of the hillside at Château de Rouanne benefits from the cooling, dry influence of the Pontias, a bitter wind that sweeps across the mountains before cooling down the entire Aygues valley. This allows the old vines planted on imestone sand to ripen slowly and produce ripe, intensely expressive fruit with alcohol content that is low enough to craft fine, balanced bubbles. The grapes are picked at dawn then pressed at length, following which the must undergoes thorough cold settling. Lengthy fermentation ensues, then ageing on fine lees. The secondary fermentation, which is planned for May 2021, will use must from the estate that will stay frozen until then. Our chosen route is to promote terroir, which goes against the customary hands-on approach taken throughout the world of sparkling wines. At Rouanne, there is no dosage, which means absolutely no sugar as we feel that the roundness should not come from the sugar but from the ripeness of the grapes.
The 2020 Rouanne Brut Nature will be a more feminine rendition than the 2019 which displayed very fruity cherry aromas. In 2020, the predominant traits are finesse, minerality and freshness. This year brings lots of elegance and it has to be said that this is what we are looking to achieve. A Brut Nature should be refined, charming and pleasurable above all else. With its aromas of white flowers and flint and its fresh palate, the 2020 vintage develops fine, energetic bubbles which, I hope, will bring us all much-needed joy.
White flowers, flint, pear.