Domaine des Cèdres was created in 1936 by Louis Roussel. In 1970, his grandson, Dominique Pons, started assisting his grandfather. During a trip in Gironde, he met a baker who produced organic bread and who raised his awareness of this modern revival of farming practice which began as a small protest.
In 1973, the conversion to organic vinification began. This first production was commercialized in 1975 under the name Domaine des Cèdres (due to the presence of giant cedars on the property as at Château de Bastet). In 1997, Jean-Charles Aubert, father of Julie, the current owner of Château de Bastet together with her husband, Nicolas, became involved in biodynamic winemaking. He logically sought the experience from Dominique Pons, owner of Domaine des Cèdres.
Their common conviction for organic farming and geographical proximity led their paths to cross for some time until Dominique Pons, in search of a buyer, naturally steered his choice towards Château de Bastet with the assurance that the work of a lifetime would be carried on.
Today, Domaine des Cèdres has relocated to the site of Château de Bastet, in Sabran, for its management, winemaking, bottling and sales. The vineyard, however, remains on the communes of St-Nazaire, Vénéjan and Bagnols-sur-Cèze.
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.
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.)