Château Pigoudet
Part 5, in Selling Pleasure: the incredible success story of Provence rosé, with visits to some key producers

Next up was Château Pigoudet, where we were hosted by Aurelien Pont, who's general manager here. It's a family owned property (the family in question live in Germany but spend four days here every three weeks). There's 40 hectares of vineyard located around the winery and house, as well as 120 hectares of forest. We're in Coteaux d'Aix en Provence.  The property has been known for heavy reds in the past, but is now trying to establish its reputation for rosé.

Aurelien Pont

2014 was a very good year here, while 2013 was low yielding. As well as sourcing from their own vineyards, they have just started to buy grapes from neighbours, as well as some bulk wine. Production is now up to 600 000 bottles.

For the last five years they have been leaving the juice on lees at 0 C for 5-15 days in a process known as stabulation. This allows lots of aromatic components to go from the lees to the juice: citrus and primary aromas that then lead to other aromas during fermentation. For some of the Cinsault, they leave it on Sauvignon lees, which adds interesting precursors. They also make a tank from filtered lees which is really aromatic, and which they use as a blending component. 

Reds are 15% of sales. The bottle shapes here are really innovative. They are made from extra clear glass from Saveur Glass, and they are expensive. The Chapelle bottles is 45c while the others are 75 c, an they are hand sorted. 'We are selling pleasure,' says Aurelien. 'With a pleasure wine we have more possibilities of mixing the bottle shape.'



Château Pigoudet Classic Rosé 2013
65% Grenache, 20% Cinsualt, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Ugni Blanc. Pale pink in colour with delicate aromas of pear and strawberry. Lively, powerful palate with nice fruitiness, but it's still quite elegant with lovely citrus fruit and subtle herbs as well as red cherry and cranberry. Delicate but powerful. 90/100

Château Pigoudet La Chapelle Rosé 2013
45% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Pale pink in colour. Fresh with a hint of creaminess and taut citrus fruit, with a touch of red cherry and some spice. Lively and focused in a nice linear style, with subtle red fruits. 89/100

Château Pigoudet Insolite! Rosé 2013
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Grenache, 5% Syrah. This was the first rosé made using the stabulation technique. There's a hint of sappy greenness here wih a lively, pure personality. Good precision and a hint of citrus zest, as well as white peach and subtle cherry fruit. 91/100

Château Pigoudet Classic Blanc 2013
50% Rolle, 25% Sauvignon, 25% Ugni Blanc. Taut, citrussy nose. Lovely focused palate with itrus and herb and grapefruit characters. Hint of citrus pith too. Lovely ficused wine with a mineral core. 91/100

Château Pigoudet Insolite! Blanc 2013
72 h skin contact. 80% Vermentino, 20% Sauvignon. Very fruity and direct with lovely citrus and grapefruit, as well as some white peach. Bright and fresh with herbs and spiciness. 89/100

Château Pigoudet Classic Rouge 2011
Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, from low yielding vines. No oak. Aromatic, fruity and lively with sweet blackcurrant and cherry fruit. Pure bright berry fruits are the key theme here. 89/100

Château Pigoudet La Chapelle Rouge 2009
Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah aged in barrel. Sweet, mellow aromatics of spice, herbs and a bit of tarry oak, with a hint of leather. Mellow, warm, spicy palate with plummy fruit and grippy tannins, as well as mint and menthol in the background. 88/100

Jas d'Esclans
Domaine de Fontlade
Château Pigoudet
Château Gassier
Les Maîtres Vignerons de la Côtes de Provence Vidaubannaise
Les Maîtres Vignerons de la Presqu'île de Saint Tropez

Wines tasted 09/14


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