Situated around Provence’s Saint Martin Peak at an elevation of 111 meters, Château des Bormettes is renowned for its ancient oak tree and a historic cellar located under a Carthusian monastery. This land was host to some of the first Gallo-Roman vineyards, but it was the Carthusian monks of the 14th century who spearheaded the winemaking evolution. Since the early 1900s, Château des Bormettes has been family owned and operated with a strong commitment to the preservation of nature and a steadfast resistance to urbanization.
The domaine benefits from a privileged location, set back in the hills overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, which offers a dry and temperate climate with maritime influences and bay air currents between two important geographic landmarks: the Massif des Maures and the Iles d’Or. The well-draining soils are very stony, dominated by shale and quartz over limestone, with a low density of organic matter, an ideal composition for the cultivation of vines and olive trees.
In this arid climate, it is important to capitalize on the rare but heavy rains, which give the vines a much needed drink and also help to resize streams, manage slopes, limit erosion, and on the whole help the land react better to the often devastating storms. Grass and barley are planted between rows as cover crop to encourage natural moisture in the soils, limit erosion, and act as a sort of “green manure.” These grains provide fodder for sheep who frequently graze in the vineyard and, in turn, provide manure to nourish the soils.
At harvest grapes are picked at night to maximize aromatic potential, reduce color extraction, and moderate the use of sulfur. In the cellar, the search for freshness continues. The Argentière Rosé – named after the nearby Argentière Beach where silver (argent) was mined in previous centuries – is a blend of free-run juice from Grenache and Rolle with a bit of skin maceration, rounded out by Cinsault and Syrah from direct pressing. The resulting wine has an expressive and gourmet nose of red fruits, peach, citrus and melon. It is fleshy with deep flavors of strawberry. There is also a lovely breadth on the palate balanced by remarkable freshness. This is a pleasing Provençal sipper and ideal pairing for paella, couscous, or bouillabaisse.