The story of the Lavau family, with its passion for wine and its love of the terroir and the land, began in Saint-Émilion in the 19th century. It continued in Tunisia where René Lavau and his son transformed a small estate of vines and orange trees into a flourishing business which became the country’s biggest wine producer. Jean-Guy Lavau (René’s grandson) and his wife Anne-Marie returned to France in the 1960s and took charge of a small winemaking cellar in Sablet at the heart of the Rhone Valley. This would become the Maison LAVAU in 1965. Some 30 years later, Frédéric and Benoît Lavau have joined the team at their family winery which has since become a renowned and respected name in Rhone Valley winemaking. They have secured the future of their winemaking business and completed and enhanced their expertise by becoming creators of cuvees and producers. They have purchased several vineyards in the Rasteau, Valréas and Côtes du Rhône appellations and entered into partnership with the Château Maucoil in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
This wine comes from parcels located on Gigondas’ terraced slopes, facing directly north, at the foot of the famous Dentelles de Montmirail. The old Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre vines are planted on fairly poor, calcareous-marl soils, resulting in late ripening grapes and powerful wines. Classic GSM blend of Grenache noir (50%) Syrah (40%) Mourvèdre (10%).
The grapes are entirely de-stemmed and placed in temperature-controlled vats to macerate for around 28 days with two rack-and-return operations at the start of fermentation, followed by two pumping-over operations per day. 55% of the wine is aged in vat, and 45% in 450L barrels previously used for 1 or 2 vintages, for a period of 12 months, before being blended with the vat-aged wine.
Deep on the nose with pronounced spicy aromas (pepper, nutmeg), typical of the appellation and which accentuate the aromas of blackcurrants and raspberry jam. On the palate, the wine shows a solid yet nicely coated structure, volume and superb length.
Serve at 17-18°C to allow the wine to express its full complexity. Decanting before serving would also be reccomended. Pair with coq au vin, a beef stew or casserole, and other prepared dishes, even if spicy or highly seasoned.