Wine is a most intimate drink: not only does it reflect the earth from whence it comes, but it also gives us a glimpse of the winemaker’s personality.
Clos des Trias in the Cotes du Ventoux in the Southern Rhone is one such estate where the wine shows us the pioneering spirit of the winemaker: Even Bakke, an American from Boulder, Colorado who learnt about wine in California, married a French girl, and ten years ago moved his young family to France where he bought a run-down domaine near the ancient medieval town of Le Barroux at the foothills of Mount Ventoux, known mostly for its intense leg on the Tour de France. While a beautiful spot, sitting astride the southern Rhone and northern Provence, the Ventoux appellation is dominated by cooperatives. But Bakke wasn’t to be intimidated, nor was he going to be a sell out.
He had come to France following an inner calling to the culture of terroir, and by God, he was going to find it. And he did: in an area that has icy winters, hot summers and the Mistral whistling through, he has 25 acres of old vine Grenache and a little Cinsault, Syrah and Carignan that he farms closely following the biodynamic calendar. In the cellar, he is light-handed, trusting the grapes he has grown, trying to express them as best he can with each specific vintage. As such, his wines speak. They tell us a story of an intense, rich style, yet infused with clarity and freshness that add another dimension to its lush structure. There is nothing commercial about these wines.
Bakke’s white is rich and complex, just as white wines of the southern Rhone should be, but in Even’s hands, it is even more profound and spectacular. His rose is a very well-made wine, nicely perfumed with smooth strawberry fruit. Both are wines that need to be tasted and admired.
At Eli’s List:
Clos de Trias Rose
Clos de Trias White