Domaine du Bois de Saint-Jean, Jonquerettes

Joseph Requin

Jonquerettes is a relatively undistinguished village, by-passed by the River Sorgues just to the east of Avignon. We first became aware of the Anglès brothers after ordering a bottle of Pur Cent at a restaurant in Avignon in 2014. It was enough to make a pilgrimage to find out where it was produced. Not only was the wine remarkable, so was the history that goes with it.

The family have been present in Jonquerettes since 1620 and were originally a family of polyculturalists. The first vineyard appeared in 1910 when Joseph Requin planted a field blend made up of 16 different grape varieties. This was the era of post-phylloxera plantings where hybrids were still very much in vogue. It’s clearly a distinguished site, since Roman artifacts and the remains of a villa have been located here. Sadly, Joseph never made wine from the vines he planted as he was killed in 1914, fighting in the Great War. His legacy, however, is still intact since the vineyard has never been grubbed up. It is from these vines that the remarkable Pur Cent is made.

Until 2010, the grapes were simply absorbed into other cuvées, but with the birth of the next generation, it was decided that the parcel be commemorated and celebrated in its’ own right. As a field blend, the components are not fully known, but they include four different variants of Grenache, along with the usual certified varieties. It’s the inclusion of the remaining hybrids that make this wine technically illegal, since they were written out of the appellation in 1937. One such is Grand Noir de la Calmette, a teinturier variety of which there is believed to be less than one hectare remaining in France. The wine is not inexpensive, but it’s better than any Châteauneuf-du-Pape we’ve tasted on our recent travels around the Rhône.

The other wine we have committed to from Vincent and Xavier is their Côtes du Rhône Villages Gadagne, another recent addition to the Rhône appellations, first recognised in 2012. The Domaine du Bois de Saint-Jean version is 85% Syrah.

www.domaineduboisdesaintjean.fr

2017 Côtes du Rhône Gadagne pack shot fiche
2016 ‘Pur Cent’ Côtes du Rhône fiche