January 15, 2007

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Two Famous Burgundians in Provence

I had heard rumors of the partnership, but Paul Root (www.rootscellar.com) sent out a wine offering recently which clarified the situation. It seems that Jacques Seysses of Domaine Dujac and Aubert de Villaine, co-owner of Domaine Romanee de la Romanee Conti, have been looking for property in the south of France for some time. They discovered an old estate in disrepair, “Domaine du Logis-de-Nans,” northeast of Marseille and east of Aix-en-Provence. The winery building was in bad shape and the 100+acre vineyard was neglected. Much of the vineyard was Ugni Blanc and Carignane, not exactly two varietals that would make the hair stand up on the neck of noble Burgundians. The land was rich in limestone and ideal for viticulture.

The estate is named Triennes. The owners have invested a large amount of money in restoring the winery, purchasing state-of-the-art winemaking equipment, and obtaining new Domaine Dujac Burgundy oak barrels. They then embarked on a replanting and re-grafting of much of the vineyard, retaining the old-vine Syrah and Viognier.

There are two wines currently offered: the “Sainte Auguste,” a Syrah, Cabernet, and Merlot blend and the “Sainte Fleur,” a 100% Viognier wine. You can buy a case ($175) now for less than $15 a bottle and that seems ridiculous given the pedigree of the owners. You can buy the wine through Paul’s website.

By the way, I do not own or have any financial interest in Roots Cellar. All I know is that Paul gets all the good stuff, tastes a lot of great wine, writes an irreverent and funny newsletter, and sells wine at a good price. He loves wine, but doesn’t take it too seriously. I probably wouldn’t mind being him when I grow up.

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