Each year we are given an impressive tasting by Bernard Latour and his two capable sons Julien (who worked in Australia) and Emilien. Domaine de l’Espigouette has now become an impeccable source of delicious wines which offer very good value. Rendements are kept low, 30-39hl/ha, and they have some 32 hectares including 1.5 hectares in Gigondas. A big new temperature controlled chai was finished just in time for the 2012 vintage. This enables them to have a single bottling for each wine and then to store in perfect conditions. The average age of the vines is not less than 40 years old. Vinification is traditional, in a mix of a little stainless steel and cement vats. Elevage is then in foudres. These are delicious, full-flavoured, old-fashioned, rich and spicy wines. There is an excellent Côtes du Rhône Blanc made from 70% Viognier and 30% Grenache, 25% of which are vinified in demi muids – lovely and fresh.
Latour Bel Air is a ‘lieu-dit’ on Bernard Latour’s estate, Domaine de l’Espigouette. Juicy, very drinkable and good value. 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 10% Carignan and 10% Cinsault.