One of the kids was listening to Peter Fischer talk about the organic farming techniques that have helped make his Chateau Revelette one of the jewels of Provence. We weren't quite sure the boy was listening until he looked up and whispered, "I don't think he's talking about wine. I think he's talking about philosophy." When describing Fischer and Revelette, that about says it all.
Buried in what the locals call the "arriere pays" or "the back country" of Aix-en-Provence, Revelette is set in a spot that epitomizes what American travelers dream about when they imagine Provence. The small, quaint villages seem to be stuck in time, with endless summer days of bocci ("boules" in France) and lazy cafes where locals begin sipping Pastis in the mid-morning. But when you take the long dusty drive off the main road and listen to Fischer in his vineyards and cellar, you quickly realize that you've found another form of genius in Provence. In one of the cooler microclimates of Provence, Fischer is producing just a few hundred cases of this deeply colored, rich Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah/Grenache blend.
Peter Fischer caught the wine bug young. Born in Germany, he spent his formative years in California and studied enology at UC-Davis before moving to Provence to work with local legend, Emmanuel Gaujal. When Peter struck out on his own, he looked at dozens of properties before he discovered the perfectly situated Chateau Revelette. Like many of the world's greatest winemakers growing grapes and making wines in emerging appellations, Fischer benefits from a deep, worldly understanding of wine. His work in California helped him gain a working understanding of warm climate Cabernet Sauvignon while the time with Gaujal provided him with a unique perspective on the varieties of the Southern Rhone.
The Grand Rouge 2005 comes entirely from the heart of this meticulously planted and maintained vineyard, a parcel called "Saint Becci." Set at 1100 feet on a plateau and hillside that faces north/northeast, this fabulously complex, finely concentrated red is one part Left Bank Bordeaux, one part Northern Rhone Syrah and one part Southern Rhone old vine Grenache. In the superb 2005 vintage, the Grand Rouge is an olfactory trifecta complete with ripe, structured Cabernet Sauvignon, the refined white pepper and purple fruit of concentrated, cool climate Syrah, and the voluptuous, warm generosity of old vine Grenache.
The Grand Rouge has deep purple color to the edge and fabulous aromas of sweet ripe fruit, tobacco, and garrigue. Drink now for the voluptuous, fresh, ripe fruit flavors or age for 10-15 years. Serve in large glasses to give the Grand Rouge plenty of air.
Try the Grand Rouge with a mixed grill with warm potato and chorizo salad.