Domaine de Trévallon - Coteaux des Baux Wine
Ostiane Icard (née Dürrbach) completed her 'BTS' (Brevet de Technicien Supérieur) oenology studies in Marseilles in June 2018 so is now both free and qualified to take a firm grip on the wine making at Domaine de Trévallon. Her father Eloi, who first planted vines here on the northern edge of the Alpilles in 1973, aged just 23, will no doubt offer sage advice from the side-lines, but it is good to see the succession at this iconic estate in safe hands. We caught up with both of them at a superb wine tasting dinner at Le Gavroche last November which amply illustrated how well the wines age and the quality of the recent vintage run.
Today, there are 17 hectares of vineyard at Domaine de Trévallon principally planted with roughly equal volumes of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah which furnish the estate's only red wine. All are now safely ensconced by high tension (and high cost) anti-boar fencing after marauding sangliers feasted on 20,000 kilos of grapes in 2016. That shortfall aside, recent vintages have been excellent although fiendishly difficult to source on the secondary market.
Describing the wine of Domaine de Trévallon to the uninitiated is never an easy task as there is nothing else quite like it; but it is not unlike a fusion of a Northern Rhône Syrah and a Cabernet-based 'Left Bank' claret that has its own distinctly Provençal accent. Typically, it exhibits a wealth of garrigue berry and herb scents and flavours with peppery undertones, a fine acidity and mid-weight tannins. With bottle age, more tertiary mushroom, game and forest floor characteristics can be found and good vintages (of which there are many at this southern latitude) can be cellared for decades.