Domaine de Rapatel – Christine et Gérard Eyraud
Coming into the Camargue, between Nîmes and Arles you can find the Domaine de Rapatel “Hot Sun” in Catalan. The domaine bathes in sun and beaten by wind all year long and is home to iconic winemaker Gérard Eyraud. Labels, certifications, AOC and oenology are not his thing : “Rapatel, it is me, it is what I love, what I like, what I want to do and what I want to share. Fashion? Don’t know it. I don’t make coca-cola. I make as I want it.” The domaine was created in 1905 by Gérard’s grandfather on the land of an old monastery from which they took the name. They raised lambs and cultivated the vine. At the end of the 1950’s Gérard’s father took over as the french state reclaimed half of its territory to build an airport. They abandonned the lambs and the négoce and started vinifying at the coopérative. In 1979, Gérard took over after a stint as a toreador and decided to not use any chemicals or additives in his land. He started using phytotherapy as only remedy in the vines and has not used additives in winemaking ever since. There is no valley or mountain to shade the terroir of Rapatel from the sun or from the Mistral wind, giving it a very specific character. Soil is mainly made out of typical sandstone pebbles but it can also be quite swampy. Each parcel is vinified independently and ages in fiber-glass or concrete vats for up to 5 years! It’s only after this wait that Gérard starts thiking about which cuvée to roll out and only if he finds the juice of a satisfying quality!
Domaine de Rapatel – Vin de France Rouge 2012
Vineyard: Rapatel vinifies each parcel independetly and the juices not used for his “grandes cuvées” are used for this one.
Grape variety: Cabernet-Sauvignon, Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache, Merlot, Mourvèdre, Syrah.
Terroir: Rolled pebbles and sandstone
Winemaking: De-stemmed and fermented on indigenous yeast with temperature control and daily racking. Unfiltered and aged in vats untill Vleck orders and Gérard bottles (without sulfur)!