Domaine de Fondrèche was founded by Nanou Barthelémy who purchased the property in 1993. A few years later her son, Sébastien Vincenti, started to make the wines after spending his formative years at leading estates in Chateauneuf du Pape.
Through his dedicated work, following natural leaders such as Didier Dagueneau, recognition began to build for a region once known for rustic wines. His detailed work in vineyard and cellar, for years created wines that offer superb value compared to more recognized appellations, yet still little known among the general public.
In general Fondreche’s style displays a Northern Rhone varietal purity with some tannins and a Southern Rhone generous mouthfeel. The wines are intense, yet refrain from being too opulent.
Old vine Syrah is grown on clay and limestone, the fermentation is traditional with a 2 to 3 week maceration, with little pigeages to promote a slow and gradual extraction, and aging in cement and 1,500 liter Stockinger foudres.
The 2016 Ventoux Cuvee Persia, always a Syrah-based cuvée, includes 10% Mourvèdre this year. It’s a blockbuster Persia, overflowing with plum and blueberry fruit, yet not heavy or simple. Black olives and espresso beans also make appearances, all buttressed by ripe tannins and a velvety texture. It’s supple enough to be approachable now but expect fireworks with a few years of cellaring. Robert Parker 94 points
90% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre. Aged in oak for 12 months. Superb violet and pepper fragrance, plus a lovely beefy note as well as blueberry fruit and furry tannic feel. This has all the fragrance of the northern Rhône, but all the guts of the south. A good option when you can’t decide between Gigondas or Crozes? JR 17/20