Grape varieties:Grenache Blanc, Clairette et Roussanne
Southern Rhône wines are almost always blended around Grenache to bring balance, complexity and richness of aroma to the wines. Thirteen varietals are permitted. The main varieties are:
Grenache – Medium ruby colour and high alcohol. Delightfully fruity (red fruits) in youth, spice: prune notes with age. Medium dry tannins that soften with age.
Syrah – Deep colour with purple shades. Very tight but velvety tannins giving good ageing potential. Violet and/ or black fruit aromas. With age the aromas evolves towards wild aromas of leather, truffle, and towards liquorice
Mourvèdre – Dark brick red, high tannin brings additional ageing quality to the blend. Sometimes animal notes in its youth become fruity (dark berries, leather, undergrowth, pine, liquorice) and spicy with age.
Cinsault – High proportion in Rosé. Elegant, fruity aromas, light colour and tannin (in reds).
Grenache Blanc – Low acidity giving smoothness and length on the palate with floral aromas and notes of apple and pear.
Clairette – Brings acidity and freshness to the blend. Floral, complex aromas of rose and acacia with notes of white peach and exotic fruit.
Roussanne – Brings finesse and delicacy and a great deal of elegance. Good acidity in the northern Rhône enabling the wine to age well. Complex aromas of honeysuckle with touches of apricot, hawthorn or narcissus.
Bourboulenc – Brings good acidity to the blend. Floral aromas.
Marsanne – Medium acidity, with high aromatic potential in young wines. Complex and subtle floral aromas of acacia, dried fruit and nuts (almond, hazelnut, walnut).
Viognier – Medium colour with low acidity and very fruity (pear) in the Southern Rhône. In the Northern Rhône, it brings suppleness and smoothness. Great aromatic potential – acacia, honeysuckle, violet, almond blossom, linden, and with age, musk, honey and dried apricot.
Terroir: A surface of light beige sandy-clay with small limestone fragments. The sand brings additional freshness to the wine.
Oak: Very light
The vast majority of wines in the Southern Rhône are aged in neutral tanks such as concrete and stainless steel in order to preserve the delightful fruity characteristics of Grenache. Where oak is used, it is often only used for a proportion of the blend. The majority of wines in the Northern Rhône however, are aged in oak.
The amount of oak flavour in the wine depends on:
The following classifications are used for wines listed on this website:
No Oak – The wine is aged in neutral vats or large, old oak barrels that impart no oak flavours. These wines will be fruit-forward and bright in their early years.
Light Oak – Oak flavours are present but do not dominate the wine when young. The wine may only be partly aged in smaller oak barrels and/or the barrels may have been used for one to three prior wines.
Prominent Oak – Oak flavour is a noticeable feature of the wine, particularly when young. Oak also imparts oak tannins into the wine which can increase the ageing potential of the wine, thus allowing the wine to develop complex aromas over many years.
Drinking time: 2 to 5 years
Reviews: JD 91 Pts (2020 vintage). See below
The ratings of leading reviewers are listed here with their written comments detailed at the bottom of the page.
Remember that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Each wine reviewer has personal tastes and, as hard as they try, preferences can be reflected in the numerical score a reviewer gives to a wine. This is why is important to read their comments rather than judge a wine by its numerical score.
JR = Jancis Robinson. Score out of 20 points.
RP = Robert Parker, Wine Advocate. Score out of 100 points.
JD = Jeb Dunnuck. Score out of 100 points.
WS = Wine Spectator. Score out of 100 points.
W&S = Wine and Sprits. Score out of 100 points.
WE = Wine Enthusiast. Score out of 100 points.
VM = Vinous Media. Score out of 100 points.
JS= James Suckling. Score out of 100 points.
Shipping costs are calculated per box of 6 bottles. Each box can contain a mixed selection of wines.
Domaine la Fourmone is a multi-generational domaine and is currently run by sister, Florentine and brother, Albin Combe. The property dates back to the mid-1700’s when it originally producing wheat. Wine began to be grown in the last 19th century and thent became the crop after Julien Combe purchased the property in 1910. The domaine cultivates 41 ha (104 acres) of vineyards of which, 20ha are in Vacqueyras, 10ha are in Gigondas and 7ha of Côtes-du-Rhône and IGP and 4ha of vines on the southern edge of the Dentelles hills that reside in the Ventoux appellation.
Winemaking is traditional. Concrete vats are used for the fermentation and ageing of the reds. A very small percentage of the white Vacqueyras and the old vine cuvées red are aged in 600 litre demi-muids, so there is next to no oak flavour influence on the wines.The Vacqueyras wines are grown on the northern sector where sand predominates, thus producing slikly tannin wines with exuberant red fruit complexity, The old vine “Ceps d’Or” cuvée is often fermented with the stems and can age for up to ten to fifteen years in a good vintage. The sand also bring great freshness to the Vacqueyras white.
The Gigondas terroir is located on the small section of the appellation that is south facing which brings riper, bigger fruit than is generally found in the other wines of the appellation. La Fourmone’s Gigondas soils are very high in limestone content which underpin a great mineral edge to their two cuvées.