Among the absolute top flight of wine producers in the gorgeous Luberon appellation, Domaine de la Citadelle continues to break new ground in this less celebrated but up and coming part of the Rhône. Its secret weapon is undoubtedly an impressive portfolio of choice vineyards, with a prized 39 hectares of vines (averaging 15-75 years old) spread across no fewer than 65 separate parcels. Within this complex mosaic of vineyards hides a range of highly varied soils and terroirs, expertly harnessed by winemaker Alexis. What he has achieved over the past 15 years is nothing short of remarkable, in a region that was once regarded as a rather humdrum part of the Southern Rhône.
Domaine de la Citadelle is one of the Southern Rhône’s newest stars, having been founded as recently as 1990. It started life as a nondescript albeit beautiful farm that was purchased by the entrepreneur Yves Rousset-Rouard after he was captivated by the outstanding scenery and landscapes of the region and its untapped potential. Originally a mere 8-hectare farm, today the 39 hectares surround the pretty village of Menerbes, on the north-facing side of the majestic Luberon mountains. Motivated by a constant search for higher quality, the viticulture is moving towards a totally organic approach, after 20 years of managing the vines without chemical inputs. Rousset-Rouard realized, however, that technology would also need to play its part and to that end invested in a state-of-the-art winery, built into the sides of the hill. It is one of the region’s most innovative and striking cellars.
Today, careful vineyard management, modern vinification techniques, and tight quality controls are continuing to produce excellent results. Always emphasizing elegance over power, these are complex and refined wines, in contrast to some of the more heavy-handed examples from the appellation. All the wines impress but the true stars are the red Les Artemis and the top cuvee Le Gouverneur, an impressively dense and yet elegant blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre with a little very old Carignan adding a dark spicy complexity to his wonderful wine. Indeed, if you’re going to drink only one wine from the Cotes du Luberon, this is surely it. Apart from great wines, this is a wonderful place to visit for its charm, beauty, and hospitality.
Domaine de la Citadelle Court Metrage IGP 2014 (white)
60% Chardonnay, 20% Vermentino and 20% Clairette. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks – no oak was used in any stage of the process. A fresh, fruity wine for early drinking.
Domaine de la Citadelle Les Artemes 2014 (white)
40% Roussanne, 30% Grenache, 20% Marsanne, 10% Ugni Blanc. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks – no oak was used in any stage of the process. A fresh, fruity wine for early drinking.
Domaine de la Citadelle Le Viognier 2014
100% Viognier. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks – no oak was used in any stage of the process.
Domaine de la Citadelle Les Artemes 2012.
50% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 10% Carignan. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks and then aged in French oak before bottling. Will cellar for up to 8 years after release.
Domaine de la Citadelle Le Gouverneur 2010
70% Syrah, 20% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre. Fermented in stainless steel tanks, the wine is then aged in 20% new French oak for 12 months. Approachable on release, the wine will benefit from bottle age.
Domaine de la Citadelle Les Artemes 2014 (rosé)
60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre. Fermented in stainless steel tanks, the rose is a blend of free-run juice and press wine. No oak is used to maintain the wine's freshness. Should be enjoyed soon after release.
Route de Cavaillan
Tel +33 04 90 72 41 58
Fax +33 04 90 72 41 59
- AOC Cotes de Luberon
- Area under vine
- 39 Hectares
- Age of vines
- 30 years+
- Oak barrel origin
- Alexis Rousset-Rouard
- Yves & Alexis Rousset-Rouard
- Approximately 138,000 bottles
- Grape varietals
- Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvedre, Grenache Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Marsanne and others