Our tasting impressions
Well the 2015 Plan de Dieu was a surprise smash hit. Now, the 2018 is poised to take the VDLT Community by storm. It's a bit bigger this time. Dare I say, a littler more serious...nah, it remains a fun and thrilling wine. It's the structure and tannins that give that impression. In time, I expect them to dissipate and then this might even improve upon its older brother.
About this wine
Plan de Dieu, since 2005, is a designated area within the appellation of Côtes du Rhône Villages (the best of Côtes du Rhône). Arnesque's is a blend of 70% Grenache, 25% Syrah & 5% Carignan all de-stemmed. The average age of the vines is 36 years planted in clay, limestone and garrigue soil.
Fermentation is 21 days in concrete tanks with cap punching. Aged one year in concrete tanks.
About the grape blend
Grenache the preeminent red wine grape of the Southern Rhône, makes full-bodied, red-fruited wine. It enjoys very dry, hot and windy conditions but the vines produce scant fruit which means great concentration. The Syrah provides structure, savoriness and black fruit, while the touch of Carignan adds tannin and acidity.
About the vintage
Mild temperatures with lots of rain in the winter and spring plus reduced mistral winds equals high incidence of mildew and decreased yields, particularly for Grenache. But a hot summer and idyllic harvest season with well-stocked water tables meant conscientious farmers could wait patiently for properly ripened grapes.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Cru
Located in the southern Rhône village of Jonquières, the 8-hectare Domaine de L’Arnesque is owned and operated by Marie & Sébastien Pathier. Marie’s family has produced wine here for six generations since 1846.
More than 70% of the property is planted to Grenache and the average age of the vines is over 50 years. Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan also are grown. They farm without chemical treatments. The grapes are harvested and sorted by hand. Each grape variety and each plot is vinified separately. Sébastien ferments traditionally with an indigenous yeast in concrete tanks.
This is a lovely, tranquil and pastoral estate and the Pathiers are much the same. They are honest, hard-working people who are 100% dedicated to producing beautiful wines that fully express the terroir of their vineyards.