Domaine de l'Oratoire Saint Martin
40% Clairette, 20% Grenache Blanc, 20% Rousanne, 20% Marsanne
92+ points Wine Advocate
Cairanne Blanc “Haut Coustias”
Since André Alary in 1692, ten generations of grape growers from one to the next for over 300 years have worked on the same vineyard. Frédéric and François Alary have taken over the farm in 1984 and work 25 hectares on the Saint Martin hillsides including the oratoire, built in the middle of the vineyard, which gave its name to the estate.
The main part of the domain is situated to the north east of Cairanne 200 metres from the hills of Rasteau in a zone commonly called “la Montagne” in the Les Doyes et Saint Martin districts. They are steep-sloped and the steeper parts require the usage of a caterpillar. It is a very stony soil with yellow clay on the surface and blue clay deeper and a very high percentage of active limestone.
Pale yellow in color. Aromas of pear, quince and white blossoms. Hints of grilled almonds with a rich and long finish.
Soils of limestone and clay and vines are 70-90 years old.
Harvesting and sorting of grapes done by hand, immediate pressing in a pneumatic press, fermentation in barrels without yeast additives.
“Produced from 70- to 90-year-old vines and ridiculously low yields of only 18 hectoliters per hectare, the 2016 Cairanne Blanc Haut Coustias is a marvelous study in complexity and balance. The 40% Clairette and 20% Grenache Blanc go into concrete, the 20% Roussanne goes into foudre and the 20% Marsanne goes into demi-muid. The result is full-bodied, with a rich, honeyed nose and layers of pineapple, melon and citrus fruit, yet somehow it is all balanced by spice, zest and brine. I’d drink it in its first few years, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this could still be drinking well at age 5 or even beyond.” – 92+ points, Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate