Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc – Le Secret
40% Grenache Blanc, 40% Clairette, 10% Picardan, 5% Roussanne, 5% Bourboulenc. The clairette brings freshness to the wine.
The grapes for Le Secret are coming from a new plot that Audrey Vidal bought in 2015 and called “Les Terres Blanches.” This half hectare parcel, comprised of limestone rock and round pebble soil, is located by the Château de Vaudieu and is only planted with white grapes. The vines are 40 year old and trained for optimum exposure to the sun and proper air flow. Harvest occurs early in the morning, to avoid oxidization of the berries.
The wine is mostly aged in stainless steel, with only 15% aged in barrels. Le Secret is delicate and elegant, very much driven by floral aromas. 1200 bottles produced. 13.5% alcohol.
“Pale gold. Vibrant orchard and pit fruit aromas are complicated by notes of jasmine, smoky minerals and sweet butter. In a sappy, energetic style, offering intense nectarine and poached pear flavors and a refreshingly bitter hint of lemon pith. A floral quality gives lift to the very long, focused finish, which leaves behind dusty mineral and pear skin notes.” Josh Raynolds
About the Producer
This 3.5 hectare Lilliputian family-owned property is situated in the very heart of Châteauneuf du Pape. The estate traces its origins back to 1405, and the coat of arms on the label is that of the Bertet family. In 1625, Jean Gaspard Bertet de la Cluse was commander of the colony of Illinois, in what was greater French Louisiana. Today, Banneret belongs to a Bertet descendant, Jean-Claude Vidal. He made his career as an architect but in 1989, when the former owner was ready to retire, the question of whether the domaine would be sold to someone outside the family came up. Jean-Claude and his wife decided they would take over. Jean-Claude learned winemaking at the feet of Jacques Reynaud and Henri Bonneau, who made the early cuvées. He learned the traditional methods of his ancestors, and taught them to his daughter Audrey, who now oversees the domaine.
Located on the characteristic galet-covered soil, the vineyards are divided in 8 parcels, around the famous castle ruins. They are inter-planted with all 13 varieties: Grenache noir, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Terret Noir, Cinsault, Picpoul noir, and Counoise for the reds, Grenache blanc, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Roussane and Picardan for the whites.
Farming / vinification practices: organic. The grapes are harvested together as long as the vintage allows it, and co-fermented. The age of the vines and their exceptional quality allow for no destemming. The wine is always unfined and unfiltered.
Domaine du Banneret
Vinous: Châteauneuf-du-Pape blanc moving out of the shadows - June 2017