Domaine de Trévallon (Eloi Dürrbach)
Visionary winemaker Eloi Dürrbach boldly quit his Paris architecture practice in 1973 to plant locally maverick grape varieties around the family property at Les Baux where the world renowned Domaine de Trévallon now stands in a Provençal backwater between Arles and Aix. Early experiments with locally favoured grape varieties such as Grenache and Carignan failed but the less traditional combination of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah proved an incredible success since when Eloi has never looked back: Domaine de Trévallon has been firmly embraced by the wine firmament. The wine has always proved problematic for the authorities proving too unique to easily categorise and it has never sat comfortably in the official classification of France’s governing I.N.A.O. Today Trévallon is labelled as a humble IGP Alpilles, a status that belies its international following but does not seemingly trouble its creator and custodian and it is now to be found on the world’s finest wine lists. Red Trévallon has similarities in structure and finesse to some of the finer wines of the Médoc whilst there is an obvious resonance with the dense, dark wines of the Northern Rhône, the whole interspersed with an untamed Provençal character of its own. White Trévallon can be likened to a hybrid of white Hermitage and fine white Côtes de Beaune and is approachable from bottling but can age well for at least a decade. Eloi Dürrbach, who is now assisted at the domaine by daughter Ostiane, was Picasso's godson of whom his father was a friend and contemporary. Monsieur Dürrbach senior designed the current series of bold cubist labels.