March 2, 2017 Martine's Wines

Rising as a pillar of quality out of the soils of Gigondas is Domaine Santa Duc—an estate that’s history stretches back to 1874. Through five generations, the caretakers of the domaine have demonstrated a respect for the land, with Santa Duc ascending to prominence as a pioneer of organic viticulture in the region under the care of its indomitable vigneron, Yves Gras. The wines cultivated by Gras typify classic Gigondas—elegant, focused, polished. In his 32 years at the helm, Gras has branched out to nearby Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Rasteau, creating wines of exceptional balance and quality. Gras seamlessly integrates fruit born…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

Jérôme Gradassi could have rested on the laurels of his Michelin-starred Avignon restaurant, L’Isle Sonnante. But in 2004, he took over eight acres of old Grenache vines once owned by his grandfather and taught himself to make wine. Learning by trial and error, Gradassi has become one of the most exciting new winemakers in France, making just one white and one red. The process in the cellar is meticulous: whole bunches are put into underground concrete tanks and slowly fermented without the addition of yeast, acid or sugar, and with very little sulfur. As the cellar is so small and…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

From his small vineyard in the Northern Rhône Valley, Jacques Leménicier produces two wines: a profound Cornas from 100% Syrah and a highly aromatic Saint Péray from Marsanne and Rousanne. An athletic, affable fellow, Leménicier happened into the wine business when he took a job with Robert Michel in 1974, before going to work for one of the most famous winemakers in the region, Alain Voge. He learned at the hand of Voge for more than a decade, eventually starting his own domaine on a small piece of land in the early 1980s. Employing the skills and knowledge he had…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

With a family history of winegrowing spanning four generations, Gilles Robin started in the wine business the way many in the Rhône do: His family sold grapes to the local cooperative. Nestled against the hillsides of Hermitage and St. Joseph in the appellation of Crozes–Hermitage, the estate was first planted in the late 1940s by Gilles’ grandparents, and it is this fruit that makes up his Cuvée Alberic Bouvet, named for his grandfather. This cuvée is aged in oak barrels, of which 20% are new. The Cuvée Papillon is the product of vines Gilles planted in 1996; it is aged…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

On 250 acres of land in the hills above the village of Valréas, a beautiful Provençal house, surrounded by olive and truffle oak trees, lavender fields and thick forest, is the center of the idyllic micro-estate of Domaine du Seminaire. The vineyards are near the northern limit of ripening Grenache, in the colder foothills of the Alps, where they are swept by the strong mistral winds. Hervé Pouizin is the fourth generation to farm this land; he and his wife, Mathilde, have preserved the self-sufficient estate mostly as it was a century ago, with one key exception: they converted everything…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

The spirit of Jacques Reynaud, the godfather of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, is always present. When the legendary founder of Château Rayas died suddenly in 1997, his wife asked their nephew, Emmanuel Reynaud, to take the reins at both Château Rayas and Château Fonsalette. Already making wines at his father’s Château des Tours, Emmanuel agreed. He is somewhat reclusive, and can be found working his vineyards at most any time of day, every day. Emmanuel does not revel in the fame and notoriety that come with making such sought-after and acclaimed wines, but he continues to carry the mantle of his famous forebears,…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

The spirit of Jacques Reynaud, the godfather of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, is always present. When the legendary founder of Château Rayas died suddenly in 1997, his wife asked their nephew, Emmanuel Reynaud, to take the reins at both Château Rayas and Château Fonsalette. Already making wines at his father’s Château des Tours, Emmanuel agreed. He is somewhat reclusive, and can be found working his vineyards at most any time of day, every day. Emmanuel does not revel in the fame and notoriety that come with making such sought-after and acclaimed wines, but he continues to carry the mantle of his famous forebears,…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

The spirit of Jacques Reynaud, the godfather of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, is always present. When the legendary founder of Château Rayas died suddenly in 1997, his wife asked their nephew, Emmanuel Reynaud, to take the reins at both Château Rayas and Château Fonsalette. Already making wines at his father’s Château des Tours, Emmanuel agreed. He is somewhat reclusive, and can be found working his vineyards at most any time of day, every day. Emmanuel does not revel in the fame and notoriety that come with making such sought-after and acclaimed wines, but he continues to carry the mantle of his famous forebears,…

January 17, 2017 Martine's Wines

Bernard Burgaud is one of the more understated producers of the Côte-Rôtie appellation, making just one wine from 100% Syrah. After inheriting the family business from his father in 1980, he began bottling his own wine in 1982, shortly before he first met Martine, and their partnership began with the 1983 vintage. From his small domaine, perched atop a steep hill overlooking Ampuis, he produces 1,000 cases a year from 22 acres of vines planted in several lieux-dits in the appellation, the majority from the Les Moutonnes and Côte Blonde vineyards. Bernard believes the blending of his terroirs results in…