It was a rich history of vine growing that attracted the de Pins family in the 19th century to the parish of Montfaucon, already with a strong reputation for the wines made from Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault. Due to good maintenance and replanting over a long period, the average vine age here is over 40 years with some plantings approaching 100 years now. The old castle you see on the label dominates the area around Montfaucon, overlooking the River Rhone, next to which it was built in the 11th Century, to guard against pirates and to levy taxes. On the opposite side of the river is Chateauneuf du Pape.
The current family custodian and winemaker Rodolphe ‘Rudi’ de Pins puts his curiosity, restless energies and a number of vintage experiences in South Africa, California and Australia in making traditional Rhone wines, but without the Rhone’s ‘traditional’ faults. Gone are the exaggerated earthiness and sulphides, until too recently all too characteristic of the area, to be replaced by fresh and complex wines showing their fruit and soil origins. So the benchmark wine of Montfaucon, Cotes du Rhone, blends all the contributions of the classic varieties – Grenache for plum and fleshiness, Mourvedre for darkness, spice and vigour and Cinsault for its radiant notes of roses. Like all the wines here, it’s a wine to appreciate as it opens with breathing and to savourat the table.