Domaines des Saumades was created in 1995 by Murielle and Franck Mousset. Frank has proven to be a dynamic winemaker worthy of his illustrious pedigree. His grandfather, the dynamic Louis Mousset, purchased Château des Fines Roches in 1936 and turned it into one of the most successful estates in the Rhône, now a beautiful hotel and restaurant. Louis’ many descendents today own several estates across the South of France.
Franck has leveraged his ancestry and a lifelong immersion in the fine art of winemaking to craft glorious wines made from some of the Châteauneuf du Pape’s most popular grape varieties – Grenache Blanc, with the ancient Bourboulenc and Clairette for the whites, and 100% Grenache for the red Châteauneuf du Pape.
At 2.25 hectares, Saumades is the smallest domaine in the Châteauneuf du Pape AOC. As a result, Franck is able to pay meticulous attention to detail and his stamp of approval goes into every wine, of which only about 500 cases are produced annually.
After picking the white grapes are crushed in a pneumatic bladder press, then fermented and aged in small neutral oak barrels on the lees before bottling after 12 months. The red grapes are completely destemmed and fermented in a large conrete vat with temperature controls. After fermentation the red wines are aged in small oak barrels, 25% of which are new, for up to 18 months.
Châteauneuf du Pape, or new castle of the Pope, has a long and illustrious winemaking history that dates back to 1308 when Pope Clement V relocated his papacy to the city of Avignon. He was said to be a great lover of wine and did much to promote it. Today, the wines from this AOC have enjoyed significant resurgence in popularity in the United States thanks in part to the advocacy of wine critics like Robert Parker, and their extraordinary price / quality ratio.
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