If there could be a perfect little winery, it would be Domaine Tour Campanet. In Provence. A beautiful site. Run by a lovely young woman. Organic because she doesn’t want to work with chemicals. Making simple and superb wines. No commercialism. What could be better? Well, I suppose if your brain works like mine but you’re a woman, you would want a Provence winery with great wines made by a young guy. C’est la vie! There are plenty of those out there. You find them!
Emmanuelle Baude, owner and winemaker, is passionate about her vineyard. She knows every inch of the land, it’s soil, its smell, its shadows. I love her descriptions of the place. Her white has a dreamy name based in the reality of her relationship with the terroir: Bois des Fées. Wood of the Fairies. And when I asked her how she came to name it thus, she recited a short story for me on the spot about the way the light and shadow play on the property. The vineyard is in the middle of a wood and to get there you must travel through closed and open areas, dense forest and open pasture. There is the play of light in its many forms, the variation of temperatures, the dust that you can see and the vacuum of space you cannot see.
The Bois des Fées Blanc starts out exotic-fruity and light and then intensifies, finishing in a way that demands attention. I love the rosés of Provence, including Emmanuelle’s, but this white wine is everything you want on a picnic! Half Vermentino, half Ugni Blanc.
Speaking of rosé, the Bois des Fées (yes, it should have a different name, such as Bois des Sirens) is fascinating because it looks and smells like a typical rosé of Provence but the addition of Cabernet Sauvignon to the Syrah and Grenache and the absence of Cinsault make it more accessible to the international palate. What does that mean? It mostly means it’s not as acidic and has more familiar flavors. The wine is the perfect match for cured meats.
Dom. Tour Campanets winery is making a Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence rouge called Mon Coeur Violettes, and a violet heart it is! There are only 2000 bottles (not cases!) and it is as succulent as the website proclaims. Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan. I immediately thought of duck in a wine reduction sauce. Again, simple, but intensifying.
Emmanuelle is passionate about her vines and vineyards, and I think anyone who drinks her wine and hears her stories falls in love with Tour Campanet. These wines are inexpensive ($18-25), especially considering the heart and soul and vineyard practices that go into it (it is more expensive to run an organic vineyard than one that pours chemicals at the sight of a bug) and highly recommended IMHO! Available from any shop that carries Cynthia Hurley Fine Wines.