Notes from Rising Star Wine Group:
"Estate Winery: This family-run estate of Jean-Luc and Marie-Lise Dorthe is nestled in an area rich with human history, between the Northern and Southern Rhône in the charming, tiny village of Saint Marcel d’Ardèche. A truly family-run winery, Jean Luc has personally done all the winemaking and growing work until bringing in an assistant to help him with pruning and weeding starting in 2006.
Vineyards: On historic lands near the famed Neanderthal Cave Paintings of Ardèche, France, their vineyards are laden with artifacts including 40,000 year old Neanderthal arrowheads and Roman pottery. The Romans cultivated wine there since 32 AD, and the Roman coin shown on the Marselan and Rosé labels is one of many artifacts found in their vineyards. Grenache, Mourvedre and Cinsault were first planted there in the 1300s. In 1937, theirs were among the first officially classified in the appellation of Cotes de Rhone. The Dorthe family has grown grapes since 1860, sold grapes to both Chapoutier and to E. Guigal until 1998, and started their Domaine in 1982. Since 1993, their 38 hectares are farmed with generally organic techniques of Lutte Raisonnée, following centuries without ever using herbicides. The vines are close-spaced at 1 meter along each row in each of their rocky, terraced hillside vineyards.
Winemaking: As a grape farmer Jean-Luc doesn’t want winemaking to interfere with his farming. Night-picked, the grapes arrive at the winery cool in temperature. Hand- sorted, the grapes are native yeast fermented at cool temperatures (reds in concrete tanks, the Rosé in stainless steel) never using oak. Their wine cellar is spotlessly clean, where they bottle unfined and only course-filtered. Cold winter cellar temperatures keep wines fresh and vibrant."
Cuvee notes from the producer:
"Marked by a beautiful typicality made from Grenache, Syrah main grape varieties then Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Carignan.
With a deep color, it develops aromas of scrubland, undergrowth, spices... the tannins are well blended allowing our Côtes du Rhône to remain supple."