After our tour of the domaine and vineyards, it was time to visit the cellar at Château Miraval in order to learn a bit about the winemaking process here, as well as to taste through the present selection of wines produced by this Provencal domaine.
As we entered the chai, chief enologist Emmanuel Gaujal explained that this main cellar was constructed during the latter part of the 19th century by the then present owner, Joseph Lambot. Monsieur Lambot, a veritable renaissance man of the 19th century, is accredited with the invention of re-inforced concrete.
When American Tom Bove acquired the estate in 1992, he quickly set about renovating and improving the existing chai. Such improvements included a sorting table, pneumatic press (for gentle extraction of juice), and stainless steel, temperature controlled fermentation vats. However, it was not Bove’s intention for newer technologies to entirely trump tradition. The cement tanks of yesteryear as well as the use of barriques for certain cuvees were maintained.
Emmanuel then led myself, as well as Jeany and Stephen Cronk through a tasting of the domaine’s current offerings. In fact, Chateau Miraval has certified organic vineyards in the adjoining communes of Correns and Chateauvert and produces wines under two appellations, AOC Côtes de Provence and AOC Côteaux Varois.
from the Côtes de Provence:
2008 Château Miraval Côtes de Provence Blanc “Lady Jane”
100% rolle fermented in new oak barrels. Rich, with honey and buttered stonefruit nuances.
2009 Château Miraval Côtes de Provence Rose “Pink Floyd”
Cinsault, grenache from some of the oldest wines on the property. stainless steel fermentation to encourage bright and delicate fruit flavors.
2005 Château Miraval Côtes de Provence Rouge
Syrah and cabernet sauvignon. Intense and displaying a bright rub red color; nuanced flavors of spices and red berried fruits, with hints of wild herbs.
2006 Château Miraval Côtes de Provence Rouge “Cuvee Natouchka”
Barrel fermented old vine syrah. An intense wine that begs for braised meats and hearty Provencal fare.
from the Coteaux Varois:
2009 Château Miraval Coteaux Varois Blanc “Clara Lua”
95% rolle and 5% grenache blanc. cool, crisp and clean with citrus, white peach and fresh herb notes.
Off in the corner, were displayed several bottles of Miraval history. Who knows in what vintage these wines were created. I suspect that at this point the wine itself had seen better days, however it was so charming to see this bit of history preserved after all this time.
Thank you to M. Gaujal for providing such an informative tour and tasting of Château Miraval!
Next: a 3rd medaille de mumu!