Bourboulenc, Clairette, Roussanne, Viognier
An elegant nose combines black fruits and spices. mouth, large volumes and lots of smoothness. soft tannins and elegant, melted.
The Alary family’s involvement in viticulture and wine production dates back as far as 1692, to the reign of Louis XIV. Tradition, passion and ‘savoir fair’ are key elements to tendering vines and maturing wines, and the acquired experience has been passed on from one generation to the next. In all, 10 generations have successively played their part in building this edifice, guided by a healthy respect for nature and for the general environment. Proof of this conviction can be found in a later stage in the development of the vineyard, with Denis’ decision in 2009 to convert to a programme of organic farming, after many years mastering traditional production techniques.
Over the years, he has learnt to understand the different ‘terroirs’ that make up the Cairanne appellation, which was elevated to ‘Cru’ status from the 2015 vintage onwards. South-facing slopes with white and blue clay soils, the lower terraces of the ‘garrigues’, the high plateau with cobbles covering underlying white and red clay, along with the richer soils close to the Plan de Dieu.
The estate has been managed by Denis Alary and his son Jean-Etienne since 2016. Driven by Jean-Etienne, they are all now moving towards biodynamics. Jean-Etienne studied oenology and has trained with some of the world’s best winemakers (Confuron-Cotedidot in Burgundy, Henschke in Australia etc.) His experience, enthusiasm and new ideas ensure that their Domaine wines move ever closer to perfection.
Most of Denis’ vines are grown on south-facing slopes, but a few parcels, facing north, ensure freshness and balance in hotter years. Domaine Alary comprises 8 different red grape varieties: Grenache (12ha), Syrah (6ha), Mourvèdre (2ha), Carignan (3ha), Counoise (0.5ha), Cinsault (1ha), Cabernet Sauvignon (1ha) and Merlot (0.5ha). For the white wines, there are 4 grape varieties: Roussanne (1.2ha), Clairette (1ha), Viognier (0.5ha) and Bourboulenc (0.3ha).
Plenty of ripe fruit, freshness and persistency are the essential characteristics of his wines. Denis’ wines are benchmark Southern Rhônes: full of sun and a joy to drink. Spicy, rich and peppery with warm juicy fruit, his wines are always extremely appealing and a great representation of this region. While Grenache makes up the majority of the vines planted on his 29 hectares of vineyards, he has an old plot of Syrah and uses it judiciously in the cuvée ‘L’Estévenas’. Despite increasing fame and demand, these wines remain great value.