In the small village of Chusclan, where 85% of the 256-hectare production goes to the local cooperative, Chateau Signac is the one proprietary cellar. But the viticultural practices under this brilliant ingenieur agronome are as rigorous as anywhere in the southern Rhone. Jean-Marc Amez-Droz's family bought Chateau Signac in the late 1980s, attracted to the remarkable property, with sandy calcareous soil more typical of the best spots of Chateauneuf than the villages of the southern Rhone. Wines are made from an unusual mix of varieties, including a healthy dose of spicy, lower pH Counoise.
This 2007 Tradition bottling is a red wine with a full, undeniable Mediterranean exuberance. Much of this vibrancy comes from the combination of old vines -- many over 50 years old -- and youthful ones, replanted in the 1990s after the Amez-Droz family took over the property. As a result, the average age of the vines is over thirty years old. Southeastern exposure ensures that the rows of vines enjoy the best of the sun's rays.
Equal care goes into the harvest and vinification at Signac. The grapes are brought in by hand only, and then winemaking proceeds with work in small batches. In the spectacular vintage of 2007, this hard work certainly paid off: the Tradition is fresh, with plenty of lift and just a touch of rusticity.
This wine sits between red and purple in color, and shows notes of black fruit, licorice, and pepper on the nose. On the palate, it's deep and full-bodied, with plenty of fruit alongside a satisfying freshness.
This is a wonderful game wine; try it with pan roasted saddle of rabbit. Duck would also be a fine choice for this red.