Domaine Terrebrun is located near the village of Ollioules in the region of Bandol (Provence) in the sunny, beautiful south of France, not far from the sparkling Mediterranean. The estate had mainly olive trees when it was purchased by Georges Delille, a Paris trained Sommelier. On the advice of Lucien Peyraud, owner of the famed Domaine Tempier who told Georges that there was "gold under the ground at Terrebrune", he began the hard work of clearing, building terraces, and planting vines in the brownish clay and pebbly limestone soils over blue limestone subsoils. The vineyards are mainly south facing on gently terraced slopes, influenced by the winds that funnel in off the sea. The combination of the soils, climate and Reynauds philosophy of natural, organic practices create uniquely expressive wines of beautiful detail and a freshness underpinned by lovely minerality.Today the estate has 30 hectares of vines producing white, red and rose wines.
The estate is certified organic, with no herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers. The soils are worked by plow and hand hoe, and vines are tended and harvested by hand, with selection happening in the vineyard rather than at sorting tables. Grapes are de-stemmed, gently pressed and fermented only with indigenous yeasts in cool, underground cellars in gravity fed cuves, and are bottled unfiltered and unfined.
The reds is a blend of 85% Mourvedre, the lynch pin of the reds of this regions, with 10% Grenache and 5% Cinsault. Deep and dark, it nevertheless has a fine structure and elegant balance of firm structure and dark, earthy fruit that varies slightly from vintage to vintage. The 1997 is just passed its more vibrant youthful phase and showing hints of leather and dried fruits of beneficial bottle age.
The white is a blend of Clairette, Ugni Blanc and Bourboulenc, and is fresh and crisp, with white flowers, a good middle core and hints of yellow fruits.
The Rose, perennially one of my favorites, is fresh, perfumed, and mineral with lovely acidity in 2010. It is versatile and food friendly - perfect for summer dining. Salad nicoise with grilled rare tuna, salumi, olive tapenade, grilled vegetables, ratatouille and grilled fish of all types come to mind as the perfect partners. I can't get enough! And as good as this wine is in its youth, it ages amazingly (something I never really think of with rose) and I have had some very old vintages, with the wine taking on a creamy, complex richness that I am not sure where I would place if I had it blindfolded. AT a recent visit, after tasting through several vintages of the reds, Reynaud disappeared into the deepest part of the cellar and came back with a bottle of the 1994 Rose - lemon creme, supple and viscous on the palate, still quite fresh - a unique and delicious experience!
And if the outstanding quality of the wine were not enough, there is an excellent restaurant on site called Le Table du Vigneron, where we had a fantastic lunch along with a wide assortment of wines and vintages from the Domaine. Reynaud is a quite, thoughtful person and his nature is reflected in his approach to the estate and its wines. These are not "blockbuster" wines, they are pensive, balanced and exquisitely crafted expressions of the land and region where they are grown. Reynaud has been here with us as well for a wine dinner and I hope he'll come back again! To purchase the wines visit us at 56 Degree Wine online.
Some images from our visit and excellent lunch: