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Chateau du Mourre du Tendre


Leaving Courthézon, driving north on the Route de la Plaine, you will find yourself climbing a gradual incline. An ivy-covered brick wall on one side and a hedge on the other will make it feel like you are traveling through a tunnel but once you reach the top of the hill you will be surrounded by a sea of vines, and if the day is clear, the Dentelles and Mont Ventoux will dominate the eastern horizon. This hill is locally known as Mourre du Tendre, or the hill of love and situated on the crest of this hill, not too surprisingly, is Le Château du Mourre du Tendre.

For several generation the Paumel family has farmed grapes in the Rhône Valley. The current patriarch, Jacques Paumel took control of the estate in 1962 from his father, and in 1988 he and his wife Josephine decided to start estate bottling their own wines using the name of the hill on which their ancient provençale farmhouse and many of their vines are situated. Technically semi-retired, Jacques and Josephine have turned over the running of the estate to their daughter Florence and her son Paul Verité. Perhaps retired is not the right term, as you will still find the pair arguing about how much wine they have available to sell with two sets of books: one written down on note cards that Jacques keeps in his vest pocket while Josephine seems to have the numbers memorized. Amusingly these numbers never seem to be quite the same. While they work this out you will be treated to a wide array of local delicacies with which to occupy yourself and having recently tasted their wines – a Côtes-du-Rhône, a Côtes-du-Rhône Villages and a Châteauneuf-du-Pape – you will eagerly await their final judgment and buy everything that they are willing to part with. The wines are that remarkable.

The estate is 20 hectares in size with 3 ha in Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the lieu-dits of Le Crau, La Guigasse and Saintes Vierges. All are sandy terroirs. The Grenache found in these sites was planted in 1929 or in 1942 while the Mourvedre is a relatively recent addition, having been planted by Jacques in 1967. They have a 1.5 hectare plot of Grenache and Mourvedre, planted on clay limestone soil and located just outside the appellation of Châteauneuf du Pape in the lieu-dit of Clos de Grenadiers The Grenache dates to 1925 and they are the oldest vines that the family owns. In 1969 Jacques planted Mourvedre and Grenache to supplement these old vines so it now totals 7 hectares. From this site the family makes their Côtes-du-Rhône Villages. Finally there are 10 hectares of Grenache, Cinsault and Carignan, also on clay limestone soils and quite near the cellars of Mourre du Tendre. These vines are the source of their  Côtes-du-Rhône.

Farming at Mourre du Tendre is minimalist and traditional. Everything is done by hand and the family has never used pesticides in their vineyards. The harvest is conducted in several passes and the grapes are carefully sorted when they reach the cellar. The Paumel family makes powerful and traditional wines and the fruit is not destemmed, fermentations occur spontaneously after a short semi-carbonic maceration, and the elevage is quite long – averaging about three years in a combination of concrete tanks and foudre. The resulting wines are charming, bold and structured with much more in common with Barolo and Barbaresco than most anything else you will find in the region. Needless to say they age beautifully and gracefully, even the Côtes-du-Rhône. Sadly we only receive tiny quantities. If only we knew whether Jacques or Josephine had the more generous ledger…


 
















 
Nuefdupape

Code 791037




Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Prestige

Château Mourre du Tendre tends 3ha of vines in Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the lieu-dits of Le Crau, La Guigasse and Saintes-Vierges – all sandy terroirs. While primarily Grenache, planted in 1929 and 1945, there is a small portion of Mourvedre that Jacques Paumel added in 1967 to compliment the final blend. Spending at least 3 years in concrete tanks and foudre before release, it perhaps answers the question, what would Roberto Conterno do if he owned a vineyard in Châteauneuf-du-Pape?

Rating 92-94

Appellation: Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Variety: Grenache, Mourvedre

Age of Vines: 45-90

Soil: Sand, gravel

Altitude 90-120 meters

Fermentation: Whole cluster, semi-carbonic maceration and fermentation with indigenous yeasts, 15-20 day maceration

Aging: Aged in concrete and foudres for a minimum of three years before release


Cotes Du Rhone
Code 791036


Cotes du Rhone Villages Cuvee Tradition


The oldest vines at Château du Mourre du Tendre is a Grenache vineyard planted in 1925 on gravelly clay soils in the Côtes-du-Rhône appellation. These vines were supplemented in 1969 with the addition of Mourvedre bringing the total size of site to 7 hectares. This is the source of the estate’s Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Vieilles Vignes cuvée. It is darker, earthier and more somber than the regular Côtes-du-Rhône, no doubt due to the Mourvedre, but it retains the intensity and charming rusticity that is the hallmark of this estate. Like it’s siblings, it is fermented whole cluster with indigenous yeasts and aged for three years before release.


Rating: 91


Appellation: Cotes du Rhone Villages Cuvee Tradition

Variety: Grenache, Mourevedre

Age of Vines: 45-90 years

Soil: Clay limestone, gravel

Altitude 90 meters

Fermentation: Wholes cluster, semi-carbonic maceration and fermentation with indigenous yeasts, 15-20 day maceration.

Aging: Aged in concrete and foudres for a minimum of three years before release.

Cuvee Paul


code791038

 

Cotes du Rhone Cuvee Paul


 While most estates opt for an easy-going style at the entry level, Paul Verite, the young vigneron at Mourre du Tendre treats, this wine the same way he does the Chateauneuf-du -Pape: whole cluster and native yeast fermentation that begin semi-carbonically and extensive aging in concrete and foudre before release.

Appellation: Cotes du Rhone Cuvee Paul

Variety: Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault

Age of Vines: 50-70

Soil: Clay limestone, gravel

Altitude: 110-120 meters

Fermentation: Whole cluster, semi-carbonic maceration and fermentation with indigenous yeasts, 15-20 day maceration

Aging: Aged in concrete and foudres for a minimum of three years before release.