Chateau Terre Forte is situated in the heart of the Southern Rhone Valley, just west of Avignon in the Signargues sub-region. The heart of the winery comes from a dynamic husband and wife duo: Pierre Jauffret and Nadine Auray. Pierre's family history goes back for generations on both sides, and continues to make the wines for Domaine de la Rouviére that he took over from his father Charles and his mother Yvonne, when he and Nadine began Terre Forte in 2000. The family's history on this magical land is so deep and so captivating, that Nadine named the estate 'Strong Earth' (Terre Forte), inspired by Yvonne's deep passion and connection to the earth there. They farm and make wine bio-dynamically with an aim to preserve the soil and environment in the best way they know how. 25 hectares of the property are separated into 51 different parcels that are planted predominately to Grenache, as well as a mix of other Southern Rhone grapes with a very similar soil to the famous Chateauneuf du Pape (which is about 12km away) wiht a limestone and clay mixture that is loaded full of large galette stones. Terre Forte wines are always full of life, vivacity, depth, and great personality, and depending on the individual needs of each wine, some are aged in concrete for close to ten years before the duo decide something is fit to bottle. This is a true passion project that not only mirrors the lovely couple that creates its wine, but also tells a story of the incredible (and strong) terroir.
chateau terre forte rouge!
grenache, syrah, mourvédre
The Terre Forte Rouge! is an explosion of energy that has founds its way into a bottling of Southern Rhone red wine. A hand-harvest of mostly Grenache (along with some Syrah and Mourvèdre) coming from limestone rich clay soils and galet stones that range from half-dollar size to a football, the grapes are de-stemmed and placed into stainless steel vats for a natural co-fermentation all together. After a few months, the wine sees a tiny amount of SO2 before bottling in accordance with the lunar cycle, and sent off to market for a bright and expressive version of Cotes du Rhone. Brambly, yet juicy berry fruit, comes across immediately on the nose, with scents of peppercorn, clove, eucalyptus, and iron. In the mouth, there is a grip of tannin that is quickly balanced by a flush of ripe red fruit, bright acidity, and a lightly spiced savory finish that lingers for a long time.
chateau terre forte origine
grenache, syrah, carignan
The Terre Forte Origine is a glimpse at the old style of Southern Rhone wines, as it is a blend of the estate’s Grenache, Syrah, and Carignan vines. Grown on incredible chalky soils full of large galet stones, the grapes are hand harvested and then each grape ferments naturally on its own in stainless steel before it is combined and moved to very large concrete tanks. The sheer size of the tanks helps to slow down natural convection, making the process of aging slow and steady while soft music accompanies it for its many years rest. Once a particular vintage is deemed ready, it is only bottled when ordered in congruence with the lunar cycle, and remains in concrete until the vintage is entirely finished (this 2012 is still in tank!). The wine is remarkably deep and layered on the nose, showing a mix of sun-scorched earth, dark ripe cherry, blackberry, licorice, purple flowers, and garrigue. The palate is packed with vibrancy and fresh berries, dark earthy minerality, fennel, lavender, spice, and herb.