Grape varieties

Alchemy...

Although our Grande Cuvée is very much Syrah-dominant, we take great pleasure in working with all five of the red Faugères varieties to produce our Prestige and Tradition wines. Our blends are often decided at harvest time, based on the age of the vines, but above all on the flavour of the grapes, with the aim of expressing a wine’s fruitier or spicier character.

At Château des Estanilles, the magic begins in the vineyard...

Cépages, l’alchimie se fait d’abord au vignoble

Syrah

This grape variety needs a great deal of work in the vineyard, but the results are incomparable; beautiful, inky-black grapes, with violet notes. Syrah expresses itself extremely well on this schist soil and is perfect for making exceptional wines to be laid down, with a powerful yet elegant combination of fruit and minerality which will bring years of pleasure.


Grenache

A traditional Languedoc variety. Along with Syrah, this highly spicy, ripe grape forms the basis of Château des Estanilles wines. Full of generous, velvety fruit and gentle spices, with notes of the wild herbs that grow on our rocky scrubland; this is the Mediterranean in a glass. Our 30-80 year-old Grenache vines form the base to which Syrah and Mourvèdre are then added to create our Prestige blend. Grenache is found in our Rosé Tradition, where its delicious, ripe fruit notes are blended with Mourvèdre and Cinsault to make a truly characterful, red-fruit based rosé that is ideal for summer dining.


Mourvèdre

This typically Mediterranean variety is also found in Andalucia. It gives high yields, but when carefully controlled it can make highly characterful, peppery, expressive wines with good tannins which can age very well. It is found in our Prestige cuvée, blended with Grenache and Syrah to make a wine that is wild yet gently rounded, like the fern-covered hillsides so typical of our area. It is in our Rosé M that the Mourvèdre grape best expresses our terroir; this unique wine combines the spices of Mourvèdre and the minerality of our schist soil in surprising harmony.


Cinsault

This higher-yielding variety is often used for easy-drinking rosés for summer, but when it is truly ripe (grown with only seven bunches per cane), it produces amazingly sweet fruit. These are deliciously fruity, refreshing, modern wines. We use Cinsault as part of a blend with Grenache and Mourvèdre to make our Tradition Rosé and Rosé wines.


Carignan

To make wine without the rustic tannins often found in Carignan, this traditional Mediterranean variety has to be picked when it is almost over-ripe, with the skin coming away from the must.Blended with other varieties to make our cuvée Tradition, this grape provides fruity notes on the nose and palate and livelier tannins which help balance this lighter style of wine that is ideal for simple dishes.


Marsanne & Roussanne

Like Syrah, these two Rhône varieties are perfectly suited to our soil. Together, they make up our white wine (with a tiny percentage of some other varieties… but shhh, that’s our secret). Marsanne brings structure and body, along with white flower and verbena notes; Roussanne is more exotic. Vinified and matured together on their fine lees, these schist-born grapes give our white wine its highly mineral character. When aged, this wine retains an unusual degree of freshness and finesse, despite its comparatively high alcohol and low acidity levels.