Though far from being fundamentalist about it, the Michels produce a number of cuv�es with no added sulfur dioxide, and "Beauduc" ? pure Marselan, a crossing of Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon particularly well suited to the climatic specificities of the south of France ? is a sterling example of their acumen in that regard. With appetizing black and dark red fruits, wispy spice, and a subtle undercurrent of foxy earthiness, this steel-aged wine is clean, juicy, and beautifully balanced.
Mas de Val�riole's vineyards, which today comprise 32 of their 45 hectares, encompass a variety of soil types: sand, clay, limestone, and alluvial loam deposited by the Grand Rh�ne. A reliably steady wind blowing in from the Mediterranean mitigates the Provence heat, facilitating their chemical-free approach to farming and ensuring modest alcohol levels for the wines. Produced from a variety of c�pages, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, plus crossings like Caladoc (Grenache and Malbec) and Marselan (Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon) which are particularly well-suited to the Camargue's climate, Mas de Val�riole's wines combine the breezy freshness one expects from Provence with a sense of wildness and an underlying salinity that is very Camarguais.