Pascal Chalon, La Grande Ourse, Tulette

Pascal Chalon

It was Simon Tyrell who recommended that I visit Pascal Chalon on my second trip to the Southern Rhône this year. Originally from a family of co-opérateurs, Pascal broke away and first started making wine (in his grandmother’s garage) in 2001. He now operates from a small non-descript warehouse on an industrial estate off the Bollene to Nyons road. He owns ‘almost all’ of the 15 hectares he farms and has been certified biodynamic since 2010. In his home village of Tulette, the Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Carignan vines are an average of 30 years, which sit alongside two hectares of young Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Bourboulenc. In neighbouring Visan, there are 3 hectares of 40 year old Grenache and Syrah planted.

The white 2018 Vin de France is a recent addition, still in its component parts when tasted in July 2019. La Grande Ourse Côtes du Rhône Villages is made up of 60% Grenache with 35% Syrah and 5% Carignan, all from Tulette and raised in demi-muid and barriques. The Suze-la-Rousse sub-appellation was first recognised in 2016. This first release is a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre (which Pascal says he loves) and 10% Syrah. Ursa Major is an occasional release and is almost a mono-cépage with 95% Grenache and a splash of Carignan, Mourvèdre and Syrah.

White 2018 Vin de France (Grenache/Roussanne/Bourbourlenc)   
Red 2017 Côtes du Rhône Villages
2016 Suze-la-Rousse Côtes du Rhône Villages
2015 ‘Ursa Major’ Côtes du Rhône Villages