Cassis Wine

Cassis Wine

The picturesque fishing port of Cassis is surrounded by some of the tallest sea cliffs in Europe and the rolling topography of the Calanques national park. The surrounding countryside is also home to 215 hectares of vineyard producing scrub-scented wines that make fine foils for the local seafood. Home to just 12 wine estates, the main emphasis here is on white wine, which accounts for over 70% of production, although some rosé and a soupçon of red are also made. Jonathan Sack-Zafiropoulo is head of the local winemakers syndicate and patron of the stunning Clos Sainte-Magdeleine, a coastal property in the shadow of the Cap Canaille cliffs with a magnificent view of the Mediterranean. He is the fourth generation of a family of Greek industrialists who relocated here in the 1920s at the time Virginia Woolf was writing 'To The Lighthouse' in a nearby cottage in the grounds of Château de Fontcreuse. His vine holdings currently extend to just over 12 hectares in Cassis with a little under 2ha of Bouches du Rhône and an additional 4.5ha of Côtes du Provence; all but the latter of which are certified as organic currently.

The Domaine's classic cuvée of white Cassis is made from a blend of 40% Marsanne, 25% Ugni Blanc 20% Clairette and 5% Bourboulenc that over-winter on their fine lees prior to a spring bottling. With a distinctive classic lemon balm and wild herb bouquet and saline-edged savoury stone-fruit palate underscored by fresh acidity, it drinks well from release with or without food. A second bottling of white - called 'Bel Arme' - hails from a parcel of mature vines on a steep terrace below the 'Cap'. It is usually made from 60% Marsanne, 20% Ugni Blanc, 15% Clairette and 5% Bourboulenc that is raised in concrete 'egg' vats with periodic bâtonnage for 12 months before bottling. It has similar herb and citrus fruit nuances to its sibling but has a little more weight, length and ageing potential. It is a great food wine and would be a perfect partner for the local bouillabaisse.

Jonathan's rosé Cassis is made from 40% Grenache Noir, 40% Cinsault and 20% Mourvèdre that are organically-grown on free-draining clay and limestone soils and are vinified in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats before bottling. It has an attractive coral-pink robe, crushed summer berry aromas and flavours and an elegant dry finish. Crab and lobster both make excellent accompaniments.

A more recent addition to the family's portfolio is an uplifting Côtes de Provence rosé that comes from a vineyard at La Ciotat on the coast between Cassis and Bandol. Made from a blend of 35% Grenache Noir, 35% Cinsault, 20% Mourvèdre and 10% Syrah, it is vinified in stainless steel vats and bottled in the spring. Redolent of cranberries and raspberries with a palate of soft red berry fruit and a clean mineral finish, it is ideal for carefree al fresco imbibing on a sun-kissed summer terrace by the sea.

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  1. Côtes de Provence: Clos Sainte Magdeleine Rosé 2021
    Bottle
    £21.00
    Bottle (Case)
    £252.00
  2. Cassis: Clos Sainte Magdeleine Blanc 2021
    Bottle
    £26.50
    Bottle (Case)
    £318.00
  3. Cassis: Clos Sainte Magdeleine 'Bel-Arme' Blanc 2020
    Bottle
    £35.00
    Bottle (Case)
    £420.00
  4. Cassis: Clos Sainte Magdeleine Rosé 2021
    Bottle
    £26.50
    Bottle (Case)
    £318.00
    Magnum
    £56.00
    Magnum (Case)
    £336.00
  5. Cassis: Clos Sainte Magdeleine Blanc 2018
    Magnum
    £52.00
    Magnum (Case)
    £312.00
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