Rich, flowers and tropical fruits, easy to drink with silky tannins
Grapes are 100% hand harvested. 2018 was a very wet vintage, the soil type is blue clay which is like a sponge - it holds water and also helps to maintain freshness - we are on the north side of Les Alpilles so you find a lot of this soil type here. It’s the same as in the Jura. 3 diff grapes: Grenache Blanc, Vermentino & Roussanne - whole cluster, co macerated for 30 days in concrete tank. Pressed and aged in a large alsacien neutral foudre for one year.
From the moment Henri Milan planted his first vine at just 8 years old, he knew viticulture would be his life’s passion. In 1986, he took over the family property in the foothills of Provence’s Alpilles mountain range with the grand intention of growing the best, most characterful fruit the diverse soils there could yield and bottling as a domaine instead of selling to the local co-op as his parents had done. Milan began working organically as early as 1988, but many of the vines weren’t hardy enough to survive the conversion from conventional farming. With the help of famous microbiologist Claude Bourgignon, he created a soil map to serve as a guide for how to replant. The duo identified zones of blue marl laced with limestone and other zones characterized by Quaternary-based gravel and yellow sandstone. Focusing on grape varieties best adapted to the individual soil types and producing site-specific wines, they felt, was the way forward. The best suited varieties, however, were not necessarily those prescribed by the Baux de Provence AOP, so Milan withdrew from the appellation system in 2007, declassifying his wines to Vin de France and cementing his reputation as the region’s rebel.
Grapes: Grenache Blanc, Vermentino, Roussanne
Region: St. Remy de Provence
By the year 1996, Henri Milan had several conversations that would change the way the domain produced wine. One was with renowned soil expert Claude Bourguignon, who suggested that Milan should use the different vineyard sites to produce different wines. The terroir is suited well to growing vines based on the soil types. Blue marl, limestone, clay and yellow sandstone all offer the chance for wines with a powerful connection to the natural environment from which they came. Now they host varieties such as Grenache, Grenache Blanc, Syrah, Muscat, Rolle, Roussanne, Mourvedre, Chardonnay and Cinsault.
Like much of Provence, Domaine Milan’s terroir is marked by the push-and-pull forces of its warm Mediterranean climate and the influence of the powerful local wind known as “Le Mistral,” which serves as a natural air conditioner and protects vines from insects, mildew and other possible afflictions. The vineyard’s geographical situation near the Alpilles shelters it further from the elements and contributes to its unique soil makeup. The Milans are committed to biodynamic practices, work the vineyard by horse and use only native yeasts for fermentation. They bottled their first no-sulfur cuvée in 2000, years before it was fashionable, and never submit their wines to filtration or harsh pumping.
Tasting: Rich and tropical, easy to drink with silky tannins
Pairing: Vindaloo Masala Curry, asian five spice, aged gouda cheese