Sommelier and Princess note: Cathy Izarn runs the 45 acres (18 ha.) of vines of Domaine la Vitarèle with a great passion. It has been fully BIO/Organic since 1998. The terroir consist of white limestone soils, schiste and gravel/clay. She says: ‘Our soils are alive, our vines look happy and my wines have character’. Cathy lost her husband in a tragic vineyard accident and she has shown her own character by continuing the fine wine making tradition of this domaine. We all admire her. You can find many local, Mediterranean varietals planted like Bourboulenc, Vermentino and Clairette for white and Syrah, Grenache Noir, Carignan, Mourvèdre and Merlot for red. Modern vinification without much intervention will produce honest, fruitful and elegant wines with character. Wines without makeup. Nothing to cover up. Blending is like painting: if you have nice colours on your palette, you can make an exciting picture! Cathy dedicates each of her wines with a majority of one varietal in the blend. In this Les Crès it’s Syrah. The vines grow on low altitude (for Saint-Chinian) and there are big, round pebbles in the vineyard like you can find around Chateauneuf du Pape in the Rhône valley. Clay and limestone complete the soil type. Syrah loves these type of soils! Mourvèdre adds tobacco, cedar wood and tough tannins to this blend. The finesse comes from the old Grenache Noir. The blend passes 18 months in large 500 liter barrels but never new oak, always 3-5 year old barrel to avoid oaky flavours. The barrel allows a micro oxygenation which matures the wine perfectly. Intense and complex nose with black fruit (cassis, blueberry) spiciness like black pepper and licorice, in the mouth rich and overwhelming with a long, smooth aftertaste. Killer wine for the dinner table! Let this wine breathe for as long as you can restrain yourself.