Nicholas Pearce offers a limited private order of Château Montfaucon.
Montfaucon is located opposite to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, just across the Rhône River. Their vineyards are spread out between Montfaucon and the two neighbouring towns, Roquemaure and St. Genies de Comolas. The original 18 hectares of vineyards have grown to 45 hectares by planting new vineyards and buying established ones. Their vines are up to 90 years old with an average of 40 years. All the vineyards are farmed at low yields (between 25 to 42 hl/ha).
The winery focuses on a natural approach to viticulture and winemaking. They follow the principals of sustainable agriculture, but in essence work organically and have been for the past 10 years.
Following his agricultural studies in France and California (UC Davis), Rodolphe de Pins made wine at the renowned estates of Henschke in Barossa and Vieux Telegraphe in Châteauneuf du Pape. He took over the Montfaucon estate in 1995 and subsequently rebuilt the winery and produced his first vintage in the same year. Rodolphe (or Rudi to his friends and coworkers) is currently president of the ODG de l’appellation Lirac and his mission statement includes heightening the appellation’s reputation in the wine world and therefore increase general awareness of these structured, lyrical wines. His personal contribution is one of both heritage and modernity, bringing techniques he learned in the New World to fruit grown in the old.
Tasting a bit like a dry, savoury version of a Creamsicle, the 2016 Lirac Comtesse Madeleine Blanc is a worthy follow-up to the successful 2015, which happens to be developing nicely. It’s medium to full bodied, lush yet not overblown, gaining greater focus on the long finish. 90 RP
Bright cherry and pomegranate fruit is laced with a light lavender thread and lightly dusty tannins. Modest in scale but pretty. 89 WS
2017 Baron de Montfaucon Côtes du Rhône Blanc $23.95 12x750mL
Open and rounded in feel, with flashes of salted butter, macadamia nut, white peach and creamed yellow apple fruit. A light blanched almond hint on the finish keeps this fresh. Clairette, Viognier and Grenache Blanc. Drink now through 2020. 375 cases made. 91 WS
2017 Château de Montfaucon Lirac Comtesse Madeleine $29.95 12x750mL
Alluring, with a creamy feel along the edges of the white peach, lemon curd and verbena notes, while racy melon rind and honeysuckle elements add contrast. Reveals a flattering flash of brioche at the end. Marsanne, Clairette, Grenache Blanc + Picpoul. Drink now through 2020. 750 cases made. 90 WS
2018 Baron de Montfaucon La Demoiselle Rosé $18.95 12x750mL
Since 1315 the Barony of Montfaucon was a fief of the kingdom of France. The young daughter of the Baron was known as ‘La Demoiselle de Montfaucon.’ In her image, this rosé is lively and joyful. Its peach, red berry and citrus notes with its flavourful mouthfeel with enchant you at every occasion!
Assemblage: 30% Grenache, 25% Cinsault, 25% Mourvèdre, 10% Carignan, 10% Clairette
2016 Château de Montfaucon Côtes du Rhône Rouge $19.95 12x750mL
The silky 2016 Cotes du Rhone is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise. Cherries, garrigue and leather notes all come together in this medium to full-bodied but gentle, elegant wine. It’s smooth from start to finish, with fine-grained tannins and hints of thyme that emerge on the finish. 90 RP
2016 Château de Montfaucon Lirac $26.95 12x750mL
A blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault, the 2016 Lirac was bottled just a couple of weeks before my visit. Perhaps as a result, it was somewhat reticent at first but later opened to reveal opulent, velvety notes of cola and dried spices. It’s medium to full-bodied, with dark fruit and a long, rich finish. 91 RP
2015 Château de Montfaucon Lirac Baron Louis $29.95 12x750mL
The rich, tannic 2015 Lirac Baron Louis spent a year in barrel, a year in tank and a year in bottle prior to release. It offers up scents of leather, cedar and vanilla, but it balances out the oak with dark fruit notes of cola, plum and spice. It’s full-bodied and velvety on the palate, while hints of licorice emerge on the lengthy finish. This wine has clearly emerged as one of the top Liracs. 93 RP
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