Chateau Cremade

The Story

Château Crémade could be the quintessential Provençal estate. Beautifully nestled between the capital of Provence, Aix-en-Provence, and the formidable limestone mountain, Sainte-Victoire, this estate feels like a walk back in time. The vineyards feel more like a large garden that happens to grow 22 acres of vines with more than 25 varieties, most of which have nearly been forgotten. Sophie Moquet, a trained enologist and agronomist, has recently taken the reigns of viticulture and winemaking and the estate has been quietly putting out beautiful wines in the shadow of the region’s most famous and extraordinary estate, Château Simone. We always love to watch the renaissance of an old estate and we are certain that one is brewing at the Château Crémade.

My first visit happened during spring, when everyone is making their first vineyard treatments (a great time to see if vigneron are really doing what they say!) Being the curious one that I am, I asked if she was using any herbicides in her vineyard. She looked at me with a little surprise and said, “look at my vineyards. What do you think?” Yes, it was obvious, but I had to ask. The magic of Provençal nature is indeed in full force at the Château Crémade. Luckily for us, these absolutely delicious bottles of liquid Provence make the journey to the States quite well.

Lay of the Land

The vineyards of this small estate flow with life in the soil and happy little bugs buzzing through the air. Its tiny appellation, Palette, sits at the foot of the Saint-Victoire Mountains, in Provence, within the town of Aix-en-Provence. Merely 46 hectares of vines in the entire appellation are devoted to viticulture and the local grapes here (26 varieties are on Cremade’s small vineyard) make red, white and rosé wines. They have the usual suspects, but also include rare varieties such as Durif, Castet, Terret, Tibouren, Picpoul and Tokay. The Mediterranean climate ensures long sunlight hours during the summer months that are tempered by the cool marine breeze. The calcareous, stony soils give great age-ability and tenacity to the wines, more so than most Provencal appellation.

Chateau Cremade - 2011 Palette Rouge

Price: $38.00
Size: 750ml
Availability:

24+ in stock

Type of Wine: Red
Style: Medium Body, Elegant and Aromatic

Inside the Bottle: Recently, I jokingly said that it this wine was the best Bordeaux I've had in years. Of course, it's not Bordeaux, but somehow, Grenache, the leading player in the mix, initially carries the seductive character a good right bank, red-fruited, Pommerol -you know, the style in which they used to make them… However, that is just the first impression inside the glass.

I don't usually write too many exacting tasting notes but I thought I'd go for it with this one -what happened even surprised me! At first, decadent but refined, chocolate and burnt cherries fill your nose, giving you fair warning of its oncoming pleasure. After only a few minutes, the 13 red grapes (or more!) that make up this blend start to unleash a mille feuille of complex characters.  Persian mulberry, exotic greens, sweet anise, potpourri, dried orange peel and thyme, lemon preserves, chestnut cake, earl grey, lavender, chaparral and red rose show their faces, one by one. In the back corners of the wine, roasted butternut squash (believe it or not!), chanterelle mushrooms, wet concrete and crushed stone keep this wonderfully schizophrenic masterpiece grounded. In the palate, fresh, vibrant acidity and soft, but straight tannins render the palate refreshed with mulberry, underripe blueberry, poached raspberries and spice. Indeed, the wine offers more than hedonistic pleasures and will easily satiate the curious mind of the wine geek.

Terroir and more: Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsault and Carignan lead the charge, followed by micro quantities of Cabernet-Sauvignon, Durif, Castet, Brun-Fourcat, Manosquin, Terret Gris, Tibouren and more. The vines surround the chateau and are grown on limestone and clay. In the cellar, they spend 18 months in barrel and are bottled with as little sulphur at possible.

 

The Wine

Inside the Bottle: Recently, I jokingly said that it this wine was the best Bordeaux I've had in years. Of course, it's not Bordeaux, but somehow, Grenache, the leading player in the mix, initially carries the seductive character a good right bank, red-fruited, Pommerol -you know, the style in which they used to make them... However, that is just the first impression inside the glass.

I don't usually write too many exacting tasting notes but I thought I'd go for it with this one -what happened even surprised me! At first, decadent but refined, chocolate and burnt cherries fill your nose, giving you fair warning of its oncoming pleasure. After only a few minutes, the 13 red grapes (or more!) that make up this blend start to unleash a mille feuille of complex characters.  Persian mulberry, exotic greens, sweet anise, potpourri, dried orange peel and thyme, lemon preserves, chestnut cake, earl grey, lavender, chaparral and red rose show their faces, one by one. In the back corners of the wine, roasted butternut squash (believe it or not!), chanterelle mushrooms, wet concrete and crushed stone keep this wonderfully schizophrenic masterpiece grounded. In the palate, fresh, vibrant acidity and soft, but straight tannins render the palate refreshed with mulberry, underripe blueberry, poached raspberries and spice. Indeed, the wine offers more than hedonistic pleasures and will easily satiate the curious mind of the wine geek.

Terroir and more: Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsault and Carignan lead the charge, followed by micro quantities of Cabernet-Sauvignon, Durif, Castet, Brun-Fourcat, Manosquin, Terret Gris, Tibouren and more. The vines surround the chateau and are grown on limestone and clay. In the cellar, they spend 18 months in barrel and are bottled with as little sulphur at possible.

 

About The Wine

Inside the Bottle: Recently, I jokingly said that it this wine was the best Bordeaux I've had in years. Of course, it's not Bordeaux, but somehow, Grenache, the leading player in the mix, initially carries the seductive character a good right bank, red-fruited, Pommerol -you know, the style in which they used to make them… However, that is just the first impression inside the glass.

I don't usually write too many exacting tasting notes but I thought I'd go for it with this one -what happened even surprised me! At first, decadent but refined, chocolate and burnt cherries fill your nose, giving you fair warning of its oncoming pleasure. After only a few minutes, the 13 red grapes (or more!) that make up this blend start to unleash a mille feuille of complex characters.  Persian mulberry, exotic greens, sweet anise, potpourri, dried orange peel and thyme, lemon preserves, chestnut cake, earl grey, lavender, chaparral and red rose show their faces, one by one. In the back corners of the wine, roasted butternut squash (believe it or not!), chanterelle mushrooms, wet concrete and crushed stone keep this wonderfully schizophrenic masterpiece grounded. In the palate, fresh, vibrant acidity and soft, but straight tannins render the palate refreshed with mulberry, underripe blueberry, poached raspberries and spice. Indeed, the wine offers more than hedonistic pleasures and will easily satiate the curious mind of the wine geek.

Terroir and more: Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsault and Carignan lead the charge, followed by micro quantities of Cabernet-Sauvignon, Durif, Castet, Brun-Fourcat, Manosquin, Terret Gris, Tibouren and more. The vines surround the chateau and are grown on limestone and clay. In the cellar, they spend 18 months in barrel and are bottled with as little sulphur at possible.