Château Val d’Arenc

VigneronGérald Damidot
LocationLe Beausset (Provence) (Var)
Size of Domaine25 ha
TerroirMediterranean climate with maritime influence. Sandy marl, sandstone and limestone. Gentle to steep slopes, terraces (restanques). Various expositions, 120-200m altitude.
ViticultureCertified organic (AB)
View Château Val d’Arenc wines ↓

Gérald Damidot previously vinified at Nicolas Potel in Burgundy before moving to Bandol and running Val d’Arenc for the Sénéclauze family.

Located up a tortuous road half-way between Le Plan du Castellet and Sainte Anne d'Evenos, at the bottom of the Gros Cerveau massif, the name of Val d'Arenc comes from the Latin word 'arena' referring to the local sand, and the nearby quarries exploiting it. Surrounded by olive and cypress trees, the vines are on several levels of steep (30%) west and east-facing terraces where the sandy soils weather out many fossils.

Since taking over, Gérald has converted the vineyards to organic and favoured mourvèdre over grenache producing a rosé with much more finesse and elegance than many in the appellation. The delicate colour is extracted by macerating the juice on the skins for a few hours before a slow pressing follows.

Château Val d’Arenc Wines

80% Mourvèdre, 10% Grenache, 10% Cinsault
80% Mourvèdre, 10% Grenache, 10% Cinsault (13.5% alc.)
(13.5% alc.)

This is a Bandol rosé with a particularly high percentage of mourvèdre which helps enhancing structure while reducing alcohol – a higher proportion of grenache gives more alcohol. Good share of west-facing old vines grown on the typical sandy clay-limestone soils of the appellation. The grapes are crushed and macerated for a few hours, the temperature is controlled (16C) during fermentation in stainless steel, and the wine is aged on fine lees for a few months only. Lovely freshness with a saline hint on the finish – amazing value for money from a prestigious AC.

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