Dominique and Genevieve Pons own and operate this lovely 30-acre farm located in St. Nazaire, a small town on the western side of the Rhône River valley, near the Mediterranean coast of southern France. The name “Côtes du Rhône” means slopes of the Rhône and wine has been produced in this region since pre-Roman times.
Their hillside vineyards have a stony, clayey, and calcareous soil that is great for the vines. The stones absorb the hot summer sun and then reflect warmth onto the vines at night. The climate is mediterranean, and the Mistral winds, usually accompanied by clear and fresh weather, play an important role in creating the climate of the entire region. The dry Mistral winds minimize vine disease and dry out the vineyard if hit with summer rains and blows many pollutants away from the vines.
Domaine des Cèdres winemaker, Dominique Pons, is a true pioneer of organic viticulture. He was one of the first in the Côtes-du-Rhône AOC to go organic and has been certified since 1973. In addition, he’s been practicing Biodynamic farming at Domaine des Cèdres for several years but is not certified by Demeter.
From Jeb Dunnuck’s March 2012 issue of the Rhone Report:
2010 Domaine des Cèdres Côtes du Rhône (France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône) $15 The 2010 Domaine des Cèdres Côtes du Rhône is a good wine that’s a blend of 65% Grenache, 15% Carignan, 20% Syrah. Showing loads of red fruits, cedar, ground pepper, and spice characteristics on the nose, it is medium-bodied, chewy, and mouth filling on the palate, with plenty of tannin emerging on the finish. Slightly one dimensional, this nevertheless shows good fruit and has plenty to like. It should drink nicely for 2-4 years. (86 pts.)
2010 Domaine des Cèdres Côtes du Rhône Villages (France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages) $NA A more complete wine, the 2010 Domaine des Cèdres Côtes du Rhône Villages, a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Carignan, 10% Syrah that’s aged in new French oak, shows an outstanding, classy bouquet of creamy black raspberry, underbrush, exotic spice, potpourri, and cedar. Upfront and perfumed, with loads of sweet fruit, a rich, mouth filling texture, and juicy acidity that plays center stage on the finish, this excellent wine will shine for 4-6 years. (90 pts.)