The Domaine Avéla "Théodore" is considered one of the greatest wines of the French Languedoc and certainly the most exclusive. The palate on this red blend is bold and expressive with red and black fruit flavors mixing elegantly with hints of smoke and tobacco. The tannins are grippy and give the wine a juicy character, with a long and intense finish.
Serve with roasted poultry or pork, cassoulet with pork sausages, or charcuterie of salami with gouda and Basque cheese.
This wine is sold in over 40 Michelin Star Restaurants around the world.
Domaine Avéla is located near Creissan and Quarante, small villages typical of the Languedoc region, near the entrance of the Haut Languedoc Natural Park. The vineyard is planted with a selection of old vines. The earliest plantings, Carignan, Cinsault, Syrah, and Grenache, date back to 1911. Ideally located in the heart of the scrubland, the vineyard benefits from clay-limestone soil and an exceptional aromatic environment.
Domaine Avéla is in the process of converting to organic certified viticulture.
Gentleness and patience are the key words in vinification and aging for Domaine Avéla. The semi-underground stone cellar was constructed in 1880 and is located in the heart of an ancient village, Quarante. The wine making is conducted with skill, passion, and respect for traditions.
Domaine Avéla has some of the smallest vineyards in the region. Extensive pruning is done late in the season to concentrate flavors. This results in small yields (15 hls /ha) of the highest quality.
Intensive, hands-on work is carried out in several stages. The treatments, including organic cultivation, are applied with a backpack sprayer to control and conserve the spray. No chemical weed control or herbicides are used.
The late harvest ensures the grapes will be at the quintessence of phenolic maturity while the fruit is still fresh. Hand harvesting takes place in the cool of the morning with an initial sorting in the vineyard. The fresh-picked grapes are carefully packaged in small crates, then quickly transported to the cellar only 3 minutes away. A second sorting of the grapes is done by hand in the cave. The grapes are completely destemmed and crushed in the old fashioned way. Plot vinifications are carried out in order to capture the essence of each unique terroir.
Fermentation is natural. A long period of skin maceration (without added yeasts) includes a minimum of two gentle daily punching downs. Manual pressing is carried out in a vertical ratchet press with an oak wood cage. The wines are aged on lees for 24 months in French oak barrels from the high forests (Seguin-Moreau) with weekly topping.
The wine is bottled without filtration and minimal sulfite (less than half the amount allowable for organic wines).
In 2002, Frank Avéla founded Domaine Avéla on the philosophy of respect for terroir, the garrigue, nature, and tradition. Reverence for the old Carignan and Cinsault vines, almost unobtainable today, are paramount. The result – Theodore, a wine famous in the South of France and served in over 40 Michelin Star restaurants around the world.
Food Pairing Notes
Théodore brings depth and elegance to any meal, especially beef and game stews, and the local favorite Cassoulet with Pork Sausages. Also wonderful with Basque cheeses and quince paste.
Domaine Avéla produces only one cuvée, Théodore, about 4,000 bottles each year.
Ageability: Drink now or keep until 2028. Decanting is highly recommended for at least 3 hours before serving. Serve at 64°F.