Bandol, Provence, France
Château Salettes is located just outside La Cadière d’Azur to the north-west and has been in the same family for 18 generations. In 2011 Jean-Pierre Boyer, who runs the estate, a sonin-law of the original Ricard family who, as traders in nearby Marseille, founded the property in 1604, took on Alexandre Le Corguillé, a trained agronomist and oenologist who oversees all operations on the estate.
In 2015 he extended the cellars in to allow fashionable and fastidious plot-by-plot vinifcation. (The cellars had until 1985 been in the original 17th-century olive-oil mill but the 1956 frosts killed of the olives that had once been responsible for half of the estate’s production.)
Le Corguillé has also completed a programme of replanting the restanques, stony terraces facing the Mediterranean, with Mourvèdre, the characteristic grape of this quintessentially Provençal appellation whose wines are so much more serious than the norm for this holiday region. The estate is currently being converted to certifed organic and is moving towards biodynamic viticulture – which must be a lot easier in this dry, sunny corner than elsewhere in France.
Vine density is 5,000 plants per hectare on south-facing clay-limestone terraces, partly on a limestone base and partly on sandstone. Alcoholic fermentation in concrete and stainless steel is followed by six months’ ageing there and the malolactic conversion is suppressed.
The Château Salettes Rosé is generally a blend of around 40% Mourvedre, 30% Cinsault, 25% Grenache and 5% Syrah.
Wine Maker: Alexandre Le Corguille