From 20 year-old vines at the base of the hill overlooking the estate, the Romane is made up of 70% Grenache, along with Cinsault and Mourvedre, the latter of which provides a point of amertume (a
Fresh, bitter note) and a salinity that quickly draws one back to the wine. The Grenache spends a few hours macerating with the skins, providing an extra layer of depth and structure to this classic wine.
The approach to the estate, situated a mere three kilometers from the Mediterranean in the commune of La Crau, is at once peaceful and dramatic. The contiguous 30 hectares of organically-farmed vineyards surrounded by forest, two streams (Mesclances is dialect for the confluence of rivers) and a gentle slope to the north lead up to the classic Provencal chateau. The charming and sage Arnaud de Villeneuve Bargemon greeted us at the entrance, accompanied by Alexandre Le Corguill�, the estate manager and our mutual contact with M. Portalis. The estate has been in Arnaud's family since the Revolution, steadily producing the traditional wines of the region and existing as a picturesque ideal of Mediterranean culture.
As is to be expected, much of the vineyard production is dedicated to ros�, with respectable amounts of red and white wines emerging from the cellar each vintage as well. All wines are estate bottled and 2020 marks the first vintage of certified organic wines at all levels. The geography of the estate dictates the various appellations found on the labels: vines in the plain below the slope are classified as IGP M�diterran�e; the foot of the south-facing slope yields AOP Cotes de Provence, and the steeper incline of the hill carries the rare appellation Cotes de Provence La Londe, which carries a high concentration of schist content in the soil. A mere 20 estates count La Londe in their holdings, as the appellation extends across 8 villages in the immediate area.