Domaine Richeaume - Côtes de Provence Wine
Last summer the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte wined and dined Emmanuel Macron at 'Cru' restaurant in Scheveningen in the Hague. It's not known what they ate, but a bottle of Domaine Richeaume 'Cuvée Tradition' was drunk. Président Macron was so taken with it, he bought a bottle to take back to France (as reported in the Dutch press). This suggests that like many of his predecessors, he has a pretty good palate and takes a keen interest in the Cave Présidentielle.
Domaine Richeaume was created by German expatriate Henning Hoesch in 1972 and today the wine-making is overseen by his talented son Sylvain. Sylvain was mentored by the legendary Paul Draper at Ridge Vineyards in Santa Fe, California and his work combines savvy New World 'know how' with the terrific Provençal terroir at the foot of Mont Sainte-Victoire. The aforementioned 'Cuvée Tradition' is typically made from a complex blend of organically-grown grapes including Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Grenache Noir, Tempranillo and Carignan. The wine is matured in oak barrels of varying ages and sizes prior to a fastidious blending process. After bottling, it exhibits intense blackcurrant and wild herb aromas supported by a sumptuous palate of kirsch, tapenade and dark autumnal fruits with rugged tannins that will support (at least 10 years) bottle age. As Président Macron could testify, it is a great gastronomic wine; a gigot d'agneau liberally studded with rosemary and garlic would be a perfect pairing. Sylvain also makes lesser volumes of his flagship 'Cuvée Columelle' (named after Roman viticulturist Columella) from a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Tempranillo. It has much the same sleek, dark fruit appeal as the principal wine but is even more complex and age-worthy.
Not to be overlooked is the Domaine's excellent 'Richeaume Blanc' composed of varying degrees of Clairette, Rolle Sauvignon and Viognier depending on the vagaries of each vintage. Redolent of wild flowers, Provençal herbs and white stone fruit, it has a lovely creamy texture and an elegant, dry finish. It makes a fine accompaniment to Mediterranean seafoood and poultry dishes.