2003 Domaine Trévallon Vin De Pays Des Bouches Du Rhone

Mission Codename: Outside the Box

Operative: Agent White

Objective: Secure an allocation of the famed Domaine Trévallon

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Domaine Trévallon

Wine Subject: 2003 Vin De Pays Des Bouches Du Rhone Rouge

Winemaker: Eloi Dürrbach


Usually a Vin de Pays is a look then pass, but in the case of today’s wine take the time for a second look. Domaine Trévallon has gained international accolades for thinking outside the box by producing a wine that doesn’t meet AOC requirements (Le Beaux de Provence AOC), but in terms of aromas, texture and flavor, far surpasses it – think of it as a French Super Tuscan and is comparable to the finest Cru Classes Bordeaux. Domaine Trévallon is widely considered the finest wine from the region.

Located near the town of Saint Etienne de Gres, just south of Avignon, this wine is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Syrah.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Dark and concentrated dark purple with an inky and dark core and color that fades just slightly to garnet along the edges. When swirled, a ring of color clings to the edge of the glass, gathering, then streaking down into fast thin legs.

Smell – Initially a little tight on the nose, but when you give this wine time, aromas of sweet, fresh and ripe fruit, including red cherry and blackberry emerge framed with spice, a touch of oak and floral notes and hints of black licorice.

Feel – This full-bodied and dry wine has an exceptional structure with finely etched firm tannins, a solid mineral character, a spicy kick and bright acidity that buttresses the flavors of this wine through to the finish.

Taste – Classic rich Cabernet and bold Syrah flavors presented with elegant old-world character. Fresh, pure and tart fruit including red cherry and blackberry with complex earthy wild bramble notes, spice, white pepper and a touch of oak and licorice.

Finish – This wine’s dry and fine grained tannins linger long into the finish providing solid texture for the lasting ripe and tart fruit, spice and minerality.

Conclusion – The 2003 Domaine Trévallon Vin De Pays Des Bouches Du Rhone Rouge doesn’t disappoint. From a unique vintage, comes a most unique wine. Simply stated, if you are a lover of French wine, this one belongs in your cellar. This serious wine is just now starting to show its potential, and perhaps its still too young, this wine’s old-world character and its out of the box varietal blending gives you a wine of great depth, power and finesse. Drink now or hold for up to 10+ years.

Mission Report:

Ah July in France, perhaps the best time of year, at least for me. The vineyards are great with rapidly plumping fruit, the weather s warm with occasion thunder storms and of course the Tour de France. This years race, a 3500km journey is going to be an epic one, the return of Lance Armstrong on a team of great riders competing against a wide open field of exceptional competitors, the return of the team time trial, and a handful of killer mountain stages that don’t finish until the day before the final ride into Paris for the last sprints along Les Champs-Élysées and the awarding of the final maillot jaune. It is truly a site to behold

And what better to honor this historic and epic race that to bring you an epic wine to go with it. This year, Stage 3 (just last Monday July 6) passed not no far from the historic town of Saint-Étienne-du-Grès where the famed Domaine Trévallon is located.

If you haven’t heard of Domaine Trévallon well, it’s a name you should pay attention to. Winemaker Eloi Dürrbach is a maverick in the true sense of the word. France is known for bringing years of tradition and culture to their winemaking skill and as such has perhaps one of the most complex sets of rules in their AOC system. Wines that don’t fit these rules are relegated to the unappreciated (and most of the time lesser quality) Vin De Pays category.

But what happens when your winemaking artistry exceeds the rules and confines of the AOC system, ell officially you’re stuck in the VDP category. But pay close attention here, today’s selection should not be looked at as any bit a lesser wine, as Domaine Trévallon achieves greatness by thinking outside the box. Which is why Robert Parker says “One of the greatest discoveries in my life has been the wine made at the Domaine de Trévallon. Virtually everything about this compelling wine is unique.”

If you’re a fan of French wine, pick up a few bottles of this delicious Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah blend. The Wine Spies has the exclusive retail allocation and our quantity is extremely limited. This is a wine that belongs in your collection.

An epic race deserves and epic wine and today’s selection is just that wine.

A votre santé!

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The approximate location of Domaine Trévallon can be seen in this satellite photo.

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