La Gourmande 2017

Vineyard: Les Valentines
Region: Provence

Tasting Notes 

A heady nose of blackberry, dark cherry, leather and garrigue. The palate is medium- to full-bodied, with prevalent but gentle tannins. Ripe plum, mocha, mint and blueberry notes, with a hint of white pepper. Decant and enjoy with grilled beef, sausages or grilled lamb with mint sauce.


Syrah is grown throughout the world, producing beautifully diverse and interesting wines. Syrah was found to be the offspring of two obscure grapes from southeastern France, Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche. The style and flavour profile of Syrah is greatly influenced by the climate in which the grapes are grown. Moderate climates, such as the northern Rhône Valley and parts of Walla Walla in Washington State, tend to produce medium- to full-bodied wines with medium to high levels of tannins and notes of blackberry, mint and black pepper. In hot climates, Syrah is more consistently full-bodied with softer tannin, jammier fruit and spice notes of licorice, anise and earthy leather. In cooler climates like the Val d’Aosta, care must be given to allow plenty of daytime sun to allow ripening before the cool evenings arrive. While best known for its work in the Rhone Valley, it also is prevalent in Languedoc and Roussilon, as well as Provence.


La Londe is a tiny sub appellation of the Côtes de Provence, the core appellation of the Provence wine region in the far southeast of France. Similar to other areas of Provence, 75% of La wine is rosé, with the remainder being entirely red. White wines produced in the area are sold under the general Côtes de Provence title. Located on the Mediterranean coast just east of Toulon, the La vineyards are spread between the communes of Hayers and La Londe-les Mares itself, as well as some specific areas of Bormes-les-Mimosas and La Car. The best sites are situated on the southeast facing slopes of the southern Massif des Mares hills. Wine has been made here for over 2600 years, making Provence the oldest wine producing region of France.


In La Londe-les-Maures, on the coast between Toulon and Saint-Tropez in the Côtes de Provence wine region, Château Les Valentines extends over 50 hectares of schist where grapevines, pine forests and garrigue scrubland enjoy full southern exposure. Wines are made with estate-grown fruit from 40 to 110 year-old vines. The old, deep-rooted vines allow the plants to grow exceptional, concentrated fruit. The cool Mistral winds that whistle down the Rhone Valley to empty out into the Mediterranean drop the temperatures precipitously and help create ideal conditions for viticulture. La Londe AOC is considered the “Grand Cru” site for rosé wine in France. The vineyards are all farmed organically,


Hand-harvested fruit from old vines is sorted, de-stemmed and then fermented in open top vats with twice daily manual punchdowns. After pressing, the grapes mature in seasoned, small French oak barriques for a year, with another 5 years in bottle before release to soften and gain complexity.

Cellar Profile

Situated in one of the most beautiful places on earth, just a few miles from St. Tropez on the French Mediterranean, Château Les Valentines is located inside the Côtes de Provence La Londe AOC, considered the “Grand Cru” site for rosé wine in France. Close proximity to the ocean mitigates the hot summer days, as does the Mistral wind that comes howling down from the Rhône to empty out into the ocean. This allows the grapes to retain their acidity while still ripening the Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah that form the backbone of Les Valentines’ gutsy reds and beautifully-structured rosés. The winery also produces fresh whites from Ugni Blanc, Clairette and aromatic Vermentino. There are few regions that take their rosé wines as seriously as Provence does. These are from low-yielding vineyards earmarked specifically for optimal rosé wine, not simply bled off vats of red wine. The quintessential summer sipper, but with more than enough weight and character to be enjoyed all year round. Château Les Valentines has vineyards that have been growing grapes for over a century. They sold their harvest to a local cooperative before finally opening their own winery in 1997. Since then, their wines have accrued international recognition and are served in some of the finest hotels and restaurants in the world. These extremely small-batch wines come with tremendous pedigree, but are incredibly affordable as well! Gorgeously-styled bottles make a stunning presentation, but the wine inside more than delivers.

Wine Type: Red

Variety: Syrah, Grenache

Orientation: Southern exposure

Appellation: Côtes de Provence

Gradient: 200-600 masl

Soil: Sand, mica and schist

Farming Practice: Organic

Alcohol: 13.5%

Malolactic: Yes

Bottle Size: 750 ml

Other Practices: Certified Organic