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Bulletin Detail
Date July 24, 2016 
Title Encore une Fois ... The Over-Achieving Wines from Domaine Camp Galhan! 
Bulletin Untitled Page

Dear Arthur’s Cellar Wine Club Member:

 Lionel Pourquier
Four years ago we ‘discovered’ Domaine Camp Galhan, producers of divine red and white IGP Vin de Pays des Cévennes, IGP Pays d’Oc and AOP Duché d’Uzès from the heart of the vast Languedoc-Roussillon wine region in southern France. We ran across Lionel Pourquier, co-owner (along with his brother Alain) and operator of the winery, when he was sharing a booth with Patrick Chabrier of Domaine Chabrier Fils at the VinIsud 2012 wine fair in Montpellier. We had time to kill, so we tried his wines and were totally enchanted. We weren’t the only ones. Robert M. Parker, Jr. remarked in issue 173 of the ‘Wine Advocate’, “Lionel and Alain Pourquier defy their entitlement to only a Vin de Pays appellation with wines of extraordinary value.” (Note: since then, several of Lionel’s wines have earned AOP Duché d’Uzès status).

We adore Lionel’s wines and are delighted to bring you the latest vintages of his vinous treasures – the bargain-priced 2015 les “Frigouliers” blanc and rouge, the equally-well priced and delicious 2015 Chardonnay, the brilliant 2014 Amanlie blanc, the magnificent 2015 Ripa Alta blanc, the lovely 2014 Pérassières rouge and the stunning 2011 Ripa Alta rouge. And, Lionel has created a mixed case sampler that contains each of these featured wines except for the Chardonnay.

By the way, the Pourquier family also produces delicious strawberries and asparagus.

Domaine Camp Galhan

Located near the commune of Ribaute les Tavernes, which is between Nîmes and Alès, the Camp Galhan vineyard is situated high above the banks of the Gardon River in the foothills of the bucolic Cévennes Mountains. The winery gets its name from the Roman camp, ‘Galhan’, that was located next to the present winery. The 40 hectare property and vineyards have been in the Pourquier family since the early twentieth century and they have long been renowned for their superb grapes that were sent each year to the local co-op. But Lionel and Alain tired of giving their great grapes to the co-op only to have them made into mediocre wines. So, in 2001 they built a modern winery into the side of a hill, designed so that gravity moves the grapes and juice during vinification (thus avoiding the use of harsher mechanical pumps) and started to produce their own wines.

Your hard-working tippler with the Pourquier’s treasures
As they say, at least eighty percent of great winemaking occurs in the vineyard. The Pourquiers have worked hard to isolate the best vineyard sites in the hillsides above the valley and to update their vinification techniques. They farms their vineyards using organic methods in the ‘lutte raisonnée’ (the ‘reasoned struggle’ in English) – basically, an absolute minimum use of chemicals; but not quite the organic manner and they green harvest (eliminate some of the grape bunches from each vine) in the spring to decrease yields. Lionel then hand selects only the best fruit to go into his wines, which most recognize as being among the very best in the region (along with Domaine Chabrier Fils and Les Vignes du Lys, to our way of thinking!).

By the way, in addition to great asparagus, Lionel also grows durum wheat in the valley which he sells to high-end pasta producers, most in Italy.

The Glorious Wines of Domaine Camp Galhan

We are truly delighted to bring you the vinous treasures from Domaine Camp Galhan. There are four whites – the 2015 les “Frigouliers” blanc, the 2015 Chardonnay, the 2014 Amanlie Blanc and the 2015 Ripa Alto blanc; three reds – the 2015 les “Frigouliers” rouge, the 2014 Pérassières Rouge and 2011 Ripa Alta rouge and; The Camp Galhan Sampler that gives you a taste of all but the Chardonnay. Each is drinking wonderfully now, but the reds will reward you with a year or two of patience.  They come in convenient six-bottle cases. The final day to order these really, really good wines will be Friday, August 12th.  

2015 Les Frigouliers Blanc - 12.5% Alc./Vol.                                                 $17/102$ for 6

This refreshing beauty, an IGP Pays des Cévennes is crafted from 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Chardonnay and 10% Viognier from vines averaging 25 years of age. The grapes were harvested at night and the juice rested on its lees in large vats at controlled temperatures. A clear light yellow/straw colour, it offers up a delightful bouquet of tropical and citrus fruits, wet pebbles and exotic spices. It is quite complex, medium-bodied and nicely crisp. Ready to drink upon arrival, it will go delightfully well with cold meats, sushi, shellfish, calamari, mussels and French fries! It will also a be splendid sipper whenever the urge arises. Serve chilled. Order your happiness in a bottle now.

2015 Chardonnay – 13.0% Alc./Vol.                                                             $17/$102 for 6

This dry, crisp IGP Pays des Cévennes marvel is fashioned from 100% Chardonnay lovingly raised on vines more than twenty-seven years old. It is a brilliant yellow colour with golden highlights. This beauty sees no oak. On the nose it offers up expressive aromas of apples, tropical fruits and a hint of white flowers. It is very smooth with a light, buttery note, is elegant in the mouth where the apple and passion fruit sensations persist joined by a nice minerality. It is round, generous and surprisingly long on the finish. Served around ten degrees Celsius, it will go wonderfully well with fish terrines, mussels marinière, grilled white fish and poultry, particularly turkey. Or, it will serve nobly as a most delightful sipping wine whenever the occasion presents itself. This is meant to be consumed young – over the next year or two. Order your most refreshing white delight now.

2014 Amanlie Blanc – 13.5% Alc./Vol.                                                          $21/$126 for 6

The lovely 2014 Amanlie Blanc is made from 70% Viognier and 30% Grenache Blanc from vines averaging more than 25 years of age. The average yield is only 30 hl/ha. This delicious AOP Duché d’Uzès is a clear golden colour with glints of lime green. On the nose there are pronounced aromas of peaches, grapefruit, rich tropical fruit, apricots, acacia and honeysuckle.  It is round and powerful in the mouth, flavourful with excellent balance, dry and crisp. This is simply delicious – jam-packed with mouth-watering  flavours, beautifully made and completely satisfying. Ready to drink as soon as you get it, it will keep nicely for the next three years. It will go wonderfully with roast chicken, lobster bisque, fried fish, vegetarian pasta dishes and most shellfish. I just love it! Order your glorious white wonder now.

2015 Ripa Alta Blanc – 13.5% Alc./Vol.                                                         $26/$156 for 6

The terrific 2015 Ripa Alta Blanc (high banks)  is made from 100% Chardonnay from vines averaging more than 50 years of age and the yield is a low 30 hl/ha. It rested in new and previously used oak for nine months. This amazing IGP Vin de Pays d’Oc (please don’t let this deter you) is a lovely golden colour and offers up pleasant aromas of peaches, pineapple and honey with mineral aftertastes. This splendid, elegant white is beautifully balanced and medium bodied with lovely acidity and a long, creamy finish. It is a very well made wine that will go splendidly with creamed poultry dishes, coconut shrimp (oh, sweet heaven!), lobster Newburg or au gratin (drool!) and mussels.  Order your over-achieving Vin de Pays blanc now.

2015 Les Frigouliers Rouge - 13.5% Alc./Vol.                                               $17/$102 for 6

This IGP Pays des Cévennes red is crafted from 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah, the classic southern France blend. The vines average a little more than fifteen years of age and the juice underwent a short maceration to preserve the fruitiness. It is a brick red with purple highlights and offers up an intense bouquet of red fruits (raspberries, cherries and strawberries) and sweet spices. In the mouth it is round, full and generous with soft tannins and good length. It can be happily consumed now and over the next couple of years, preferably slightly chilled with steak, roast chicken, steak tartar or red berry desserts. Order your fresh, fruity and delicious little treasure now.

2014 Pérassières Rouge – 13.5% Alc./Vol.                                                   $22/$ 132 for 6

The 2014 Pérassières is composed of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache, the mainstay varietals of southern France. The vines average over 50 years of age. It sees no oak. This IGP Duché d’Uzès is a rich purple colour with deep violet accents and offers up aromas of black currants, blackberries, raspberries, new leather, pepper, exotic spices and just a hint of licorice. In the mouth it is smooth, round, medium-bodied and lively with excellent length and impressive tannins. This luscious, unfiltered, unoaked wine seems to have been bestowed upon us by the barbeque gods. Drinking delightfully now, it will age gracefully for at least another five years.  Order your classic southern French red now.

2011 Ripa Alta Rouge – 13.3% Alc./Vol.                                                       $34/$204 for 6

This magnificent IGP Duché d’Uzès red is comprised of 95% Syrah and 5% Grenache from vines averaging more than 50 years of age. It is a deep ruby colour with cherry red highlights. Wonderful aromas of strawberry jam, cedar, leather, coffee and violets leap from the glass. It is big, bold, full and very well-balanced with gentle tannins and a most pleasant long, lingering after taste. This reminds me of a very good Côte Rôtie! With five years already under its belt, this stunner is ready to drink (please decant) and will keep happily for another eight to ten years. This is really, really good stuff.  Order your stunning Syrah now!

The ‘Camp Galhan’ Sampler - 13.5% Alc./Vol.                                             $23/$138 for 6

This is a great way to try six different Domaine Camp Galhan vinous treasures. You get a bottle each of the 2015 les “Figouliers” blanc and rouge, 2014 Amanlie Blanc, 2015 Ripa Alto blanc,  2014 Pérassières rouge, and 2011 Ripa Alta rouge. I do hope that every one of our members will order this Sampler to taste for themselves the great values that come from Camp Galhan and southern France. Order your six-pack of pure drinking pleasure now.

The LCBO is the only entity authorized to sell beverage alcohol in Ontario. Arthur Sellers & Company and Arthur’s Cellar Wine Club do not sell or markup beverage alcohol, but rather, arrange for customers to purchase it from the LCBO. Our prices indicated above and on our website include the LCBO sale price plus a fee to cover the cost of sourcing, handling and marketing the wine. The LCBO’s sale prices are available on request.

Many thanks and cheers,

Jim, Hélène and Kate