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EVERYTHING IN ITS RIGHT PLACE

Domaine de la Citadelle

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Alexis Rousset-Rouard was born on the summer solstice, the longest day.

He has already been working at, and devoting himself to, the estate for twenty years; twenty years in this beautiful vineyard at the foot of Ménerbes, a gem of a perched village. A perfect landscape that calls to mind this line by Thom Yorke, Radiohead’s songwriter: “How come it all looks so beautiful? How come the moon falls from the sky?” In the Luberon, time flows differently. Maybe that is why age has not caught up with Alexis. He is still the young man who wants only to find the truth within his wines. And the truth lies in t he special terroir of La Citadelle – sixty organically farmed plots, varied soils and sixteen varieties that thrive in a happy paradox: “the most southeasterly but least southern style vineyard in the southern Rhône”.
In these late-ripening, north-facing slopes of the Massif du Luberon, Syrah is expressed without over-maturity alongside Grenache, giving cuvées such as Gouverneur Saint-Auban and Les Ultimes a northern accent but with the vibrant charm of the Mediterranean climate. These ageable wines, and others made with grapes carefully selected from a mosaic of the estate’s plots, wow the senses and win hearts with their intensity and elegance.
La Citadelle is also a yardstick for the quality of its hospitality and for its collection of 1,200 corkscrews – a veritable museum. Estate founder Yves – Alexis’s father, film-industry figure, and honorary mayor of Ménerbes – has done much for wine tourism and truffle farming.

His vision rings true: wine, which tells the truth of the terroir, imbues us with a sense of escape. And that is even truer beneath the great Luberon sky…

vineyards

40 ha of vines on the north-facing slopes of the Massif du Luberon. 14 different varieties, including Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Roussanne, Marsanne, Clairette. The Citadelle vineyards comprise 11 lieux-dits and four terroirs, and are split into 60 plots in 11 different localities. The vineyards are farmed organically, and each plot requires precise, careful work to highlight the expressiveness of the terroir. The soils are ploughed and worked all year round; horses are used in some areas. Soils and vines are dynamised. Average yield: 35 hl/ha.

CELLAR

Multi-level design for gravity-fed crop intake and minimal pumping. Temperature-controlled stainless-steel vats with pigeurs. Pneumatic press, air-conditioned ageing and storage cellars. Vinification: Each terroir and variety is vinified separately. Red: Grapes are destemmed, and matured on the skins for 15-30 days, with alternate punching-down and pumping-over. Aged in vats, barrels and foudres. White: Macerated on the skins, fermented at low temperature, vinified in barriques, aged on the lees. Rosé: Free-run and direct press.

WINES

Le Châtaignier (red, rosé, white) is a selection of 15-20 year old vines. Sandy-marl soils with northern exposure. Very fresh wines with red berry fruits, flowers and spices. • Les Artèmes (red, rosé, white) comes from grapes in the Les Artèmes locality (gravel-laden soils rich in limestone). The most Mediterranean of the Citadelle terroirs, it yields well-structured cellaring wines with notes of scrubland and black berry fruits. • Le Gouverneur (red, white) is a selection from the estate's finest terroirs. Mostly gravel-laden soils in the locality of Les Faysses, producing rich, deep wines with silky tannins, meant for lengthy cellaring. • Les Ultimes is a red-wine cuvée from a barrel selection, made only in great years. • Court Métrage (red, rosé, white) is from our youthful, early-ripening terroirs yielding fresh, rounded wines packed with lush fruit.
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