Dom La Garelle Cuvee Du Solstice 18

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The Luberon wine region is nestled alongside the Luberon Regional Natural Park in the Vaucluse département, spanning more than 36 communes and villages. Surrounded by the Calavon River to the north and the Durance River to the south, the vineyards cover both sides of the Luberon Massif. The area's unique location and geography are essential elements that contribute to the distinct characteristics of the wines produced in the region.

Domaine La Garelleis located 35 kilometers east of Avignon, at the foot of the Luberon Mountains. The estate's vineyards cover 61 acres surrounding the charming villages of Oppède and Ménerbes, with the latter being acknowledged as one of France's most stunning towns.

The vineyard's unique terroir, a blend of sandy and stony soil, has been ideal for growing vines since the Roman era. Domaine La Garelle produces red, white, and rosé AOC Luberon wines, as well as Vins de Pays de Vaucluse. In 1995, after generations of selling fruit to the local cooperatives, a private winery was established on the estate.

Domaine La Garelle's current owner, Alain Audet, purchased the property from Dutch wine aficionado Robert Vlasman in 2008. Alain, who is an agricultural engineer, was raised in Luberon. The desire to revisit his winemaking memories from childhood and reconnect with his roots led him to purchase La Garelle, fulfilling his dream. The cellar master, Frédéric Blanc, has been with the vineyard since its first vintage in 1997.

Alain has focused keenly on energy, ecology, and sustainability over the years. The Domaine officially became carbon neutral recently after installing 280 square meters of solar panels. He is committed to promoting sustainable energy and has a vision of producing wine without emissions by inventing an electric vineyard tractor.

After a quick swirl or two, you'll be treated to aromas of black cherry, red plum, and spice on the nose, leading to a lush palate of red and blue fruits. A gorgeous beam of olive tapenade and roasted herbs mingles with the dense fruit, finishing with a harmonious balance of fruit, brightness, and tannin. It's another wonderfully versatile red for food and friends, and Hammond and I will enjoy this with grilled poultry, pork, burgers, and steaks.

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