Tasting: Crushed luxardo cherries, minerality and a hint of earth. Chillable and delicious.
Grape: Merlot, Carignan
Region: St. Remy de Provence, France
Vinification: From organic vineyard sites in Chateaurenard originally intended for the co-op, the Reynard Rebels was created by Cyril Zang's son at Domaine Henri Milan. This is a blending of two different vintages - 2017's Merlot and Carignan, and the 2018 Carignan. Both undergo a 5-day whole-cluster fermentation, followed by aging in concrete vat for 1 year. Unfined, unfiltered with a dash of SO2 at bottling.
About the Winemaker: 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.
In 2011 Henri's son Theophile began working the domaine with his father. Today he is responsible for all operations and handles vinification for the wines. In 2014, while on a trip to New York - Theo met Natalie, a Jacksonville native. Natalie grew up in Jax and cut her teeth in the food and beverage industry at some of the best restaurants Jacksonville has to offer including Orsay and Chew. During that time she developed a passion for wine and moved to New York City to continue her learning. She eventually landed a position as Sommelier at Michelin star restaurant, The Modern. While on a trip to promote his family's domaine among the restaurant scene in New York, Theo was introduced to Natalie and as they say, the rest is history. They were married in 2018 and have two beautiful children. Natalie is heavily involved in all parts of the family domaine, working in the vineyard, cellar, marketing, tasting room, entertaining clients and more.