Operated by Arnaud and Isabelle Guicharde, Domaine de la Guicharde is located in the hills north of Avignon around the village of Cairanne. At first glance it doesn’t seem much like a wine region --the village is surrounded by old forests where locals hunt wild boar or wild mushrooms. Nevertheless, in 2005 the quality of the wines in the region was recognized by the French government and given the ability to name its Cotes du Rhone after the village appellation of Massif d’Uchaux, similar to the way the wines of the village of Chateauneuf du Pape was “promoted” to their own appellation in 1923.The oldest vines on the property are 70 year old grenache vines, which are grown on deep sandy soils with large stones, similar to those in Chateauneuf du Pape. The newer plantings are on very shallow calcerous soil with decomposed fossilized rocks.Isabel and Arnaud work entirely by themselves in the winery, aided only by a team of pickers during the 2 to 3 week harvest. In 2013 the winery was certified biodynamic by Demeter.
The wine shows moderate to deep ruby red colour, with an almost purple hue indicative of its youth. A complex and rich mix of aroma’s, including black cherry, tapenade (black olive puree) crab apple, plum, cranberry and stewed strawberry fruit, with subtle licorice and mint. On the palate, the wine mirrors the nose, although the fruits tend to show a little more of a black nature than the pretty nose would imply. Some salty, black licorice notes on the finish, as well as a bit of alcoholic weight (14.5%).
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