Le Vendangeur (the Harvester) originates in the southern Rhone Valley of France in a vineyard blessed with old vines and a unique terroir, the key ingredients needed to create wines of unusually good quality. The vineyard is guided by biodynamic principles in order to promote the healthiest soils possible having exiled all forms of pesticides, herbicides and other destructive products years ago. The traditional and natural ‘Bordeaux Blend’ of copper and sulfur are used to fend off fungus and mold aided by the Mistral winds which blow forcefully down the Rhone Valley. With naturally healthy vines rooted deeply into the soil the plants take care of themselves. The yeasts indigenous to the land start our fermentations and contribute to the natural expression of the terroir that is then dutifully transferred to the bottles of Le Vendangeur.
Grenache is the preeminent grape of the southern Rhone and in its youth tastes of strawberries and raspberries. As it ages, Grenache transmits flavors of black cherries, pepper, coffee, leather, spices, tar, black olives and black currants. Since Le Vendangeur ‘s grapes come from very low-yielding vines, it retains its structure and intensifies concentration meaning it can age from between five and eight years depending on the conditions prevalent in any particular vintage. Grenache constitutes 75% of the blend. The second grape of the mix, Syrah (20%), can add notes of scented flowers like violets, wood-smoke, blackberries and savory flavors and more structure. Mourvedre constitutes only 5% of Vendangeur's blend and in general, adds solidity, alcohol and tannin along with some herby and earthy notes making it a great partner for the lush and plumper Grenache.
Harvests are always done by hand. The wine is then vinified without de-stemming in porous concrete tanks and then partially aged in old barrels allowing it to have a slow but steady rapport with oxygen. The mature stems contribute significantly to the wine in the form of structure and acidity which add equilibrium to the naturally fruity flavors of the grapes. The wines undergo malolactic fermentation and if needed, a small amount of SO2 may be added later to afford some protection.
In sum, Le Vendangeur is a vin de terroir which expresses its origins in the bottle and provides its drinkers with a lovely experience when enjoyed with a great meal.