Chateau Terre Forte is situated in the heart of the Southern Rhone Valley, just west of Avignon in the Signargues sub-region. The heart of the winery comes from a dynamic husband and wife duo: Pierre Jauffret and Nadine Auray. Pierre’s family history goes back for generations on both sides, and continues to make the wines for Domaine de la Rouviére that he took over from his father Charles and his mother Yvonne, when he and Nadine began Terre Forte in 2000. The family’s history on this magical land is so deep and so captivating, that Nadine named the estate ‘Strong Earth’ (Terre Forte), inspired by Yvonne’s deep passion and connection to the earth there. They farm and make wine biodynamically with an aim to preserve the soil and environment in the best way they know how. 25 hectares of the property are separated into 51 different parcels that are planted predominately to Grenache, as well as a mix of other Southern Rhone grapes, with a very similar soil to the famous Chateauneuf du Pape (which is about 12km away) with a limestone and clay mixture that is loaded full of large galet stones. Terre Forte wines are always full of life, vivacity, depth, and great personality, and depending on the individual needs of each wine, some are aged in concrete for close to ten years before the duo decide something is fit to bottle. This is a true passion project that not only mirrors the lovely couple that creates its wine, but also tells a story of the incredible (and strong) terroir.
The Terre Forte 2019 Rouge! is an explosion of energy that has founds its way into a bottling of Southern Rhone red wine. A hand-harvest of mostly Grenache (along with some Syrah and Mourvèdre) coming from limestone rich clay soils and galet stones that range from half-dollar size to a football, the grapes are de-stemmed and placed into stainless steel vats for a natural co-fermentation all together. After a few months, the wine sees a tiny amount of SO2 before bottling in accordance with the lunar cycle, and sent off to market for a bright and expressive version of Cotes du Rhone. Brambly, yet juicy berry fruit, comes across immediately on the nose, with scents of peppercorn, clove, eucalyptus, and iron. In the mouth, there is a grip of tannin that is quickly balanced by a flush of ripe red fruit, bright acidity, and a lightly spiced savory finish that lingers for a long time.