In the southern Rhône’s department of the Vaucluse, the magnificent and lacy Dentelles de Montmirail Mountains can be seen for miles in every direction. No one had ever attempted to plant grapes on the sunny slopes in this area of Gigondas until the arrival of the Archimbaud family. This site of an ancient hot spring straddles the appellations of Gigondas and Vacqueyras, two of the southern Rhône’s most notable crus. The Château de Montmirail encompasses two properties: one inherited, the other purchased by Gabriel Archimbaud in the 1960s. The Archimbaud family is the largest vineyard land owner in both villages, farming 24 hectares in Gigondas and 20 in Vacqueyras on clay and limestone soils. Today, Gabriel’s daughter, Monique Archimbaud, her son Philippe Bouteiller, and her daughter Sylvie run the estate. Although they sell off a fair amount of their production to the bulk market, they bottle the best of their grapes under their own label, frequently winning juried competitions for their traditionally styled wines.
Although the Archimbaud-Bouteillers grow both red and white grapes, they are particularly focused on the red. They plant Grenache (the chief varietal of the southern Rhône) for fruit and power, Syrah for structure and earthiness, and Mourvèdre for the spicy components it adds to the finished wines. Their vines average 50 years of age, and some of their parcels are more than 80 years old. After the harvest, they de-stem the entire crop. Macerations occur slowly over three weeks, and the cuvees spend two winters in both cement and ceramic-lined stainless steel tanks before bottling. Our long-term partnership with the family has made it possible for them to bottle the wines unfined and unfiltered, specifically for Beaune Imports, after long élévages—a key component to ensuring the long-term stability of the wines. Complex and layered with spicy garrigue and sun-kissed fruit, the Château de Montmirail’s wines offer unparalleled value and personality for their class.
For more information, please see www.chateau-de-montmirail.com