“Lush” 90-point Wintery Rhône Blend under $30

There’s a sense of ancient history in the south of France. Roman-era towns and crumbling ruins dot the countryside — even the modern highways follow the ancient “Via Agrippa” of the Romans. Winemaking here is just as old, and archeologists have found presses dating back to 400 BC.

Winemaking in Séguret, a twenty-minute drive across the valley from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, dates to the year 611 — and little has changed in 1400 years. Today winemaker Nicolas Haeni of the Domaine Malmont makes exquisite natural cuvées using ambient wild yeasts and chemical-free organic viticulture.

We’re not sure exactly what the wines tasted like in the 7th century, but we bet these Malmont reds are better.

Haeni farms a magnificent vineyard deep in the hills above Séguret. The vineyard enjoys excellent airflow from its perch high on the slope, providing healthy grapes and extraordinary biodiversity in the vines. The Malmont vineyards vibrate with life as honeybees, rabbits, and birds dart among the wildflowers and herbs. On a sunny Spring day, it’s a veritable Eden.

Malmont’s wines are similarly vibrant. They sport dense, inky fruit with attractive tannins and a beautiful floral finish. Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator both gave 90 points to the Séguret 2016, calling it “full-bodied and lush,” with a “creamy texture” and “a pretty beam of raspberry and blackberry coulis.”

This is ur-wine, a pure expression of land and place. Serve from a carafe with an afternoon salad.


Mamont Séguret 2016
bottle price: $29

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