2014 Henri Milan Les Vallons
Region: Provence < France
Grapes: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming with biodynamic practices; blue marls, calcareous screes, clay soils;whole-clusters macerate for 5 days together, grapes are pressed and fermentation finishes quickly after. Rests concrete for 4 years; bottled unfined/unfiltered with zero additions, not even SO2; 13% ABV
Winemaker: Henri Milan
Domaine Milan occupies prime real estate near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (tiny French village famous for being painted, a lot, by Van Gogh), with immaculate vineyards framed by the Alpilles mountains that provide climatic protection for the vineyards. Here, the gregarious Henri Milan crafts elegant wines using no chemicals, no additives, no commercial yeasts and, in some cases (like this Brut rosé) no added sulphur. Domaine Milan was created in 1956 by Robert Milan and later taken over by Henri, his son, in 1986 – although Henri got his start much earlier, planting his very first vine at 8 years old. Henri led the conversion to organic farming in 1987, and also decided to separate the domaine into several plots (called Clos) like in Burgundy, to make micro-terroir wines that showcase the potential of each soil type.His ‘Les Vallons’ bottling is pure Provence, with lavender, herbs and garrigue flirting with soft ripe fruit and a mineral edge, all wrapped up in a taut package. With a few years of bottle age, this wine is in a perfectly plush place, so ready to drink now, especially with a slight chill.