In Eygalières, the domain of Eole elaborates great wines of Provence. Walk at the foot of the Alpilles to discover its summer vintages.
By Xavier Aubercy
It seems that here, before the Middle Ages, it was cereals that were cultivated. Today, this land is a land of wine. And what a land! Here, in in the heart of Provence, at the foot of the Alpilles, where grenache and syrah blossom so well between the olive trees and cypresses, where the mistral half of the year… The beautiful village of Eygalières is only a few minutes not and here, the Mediterranean climate offers the vines mild winters and hot summers. And in his great generosity, he even gives this land more rainfall than on the coast. The grapes enjoy it. Matthias Wimmer too.
This passionate oenologist, at the head of the Domaine d’Eole since the mid-90s and now assisted by Ludovic Vançon, finds there the essential ingredients for the elaboration of great wines of Provence, red, white or rosé, perhaps confidential but so beautiful and appreciated throughout the world. In love with the vine, he understood that if the climate offered his terroir such beautiful predispositions, it was up to him to take care of it: to trust the ecological balance of nature, to respect the soils… The wine comes first from the earth, and the earth, we look after it. We observe it. Here, the meticulous work of the human hand replaces fungicides and weed killers. The land is observed and the vineyard is pampered.
The sun is beating down and you need a straw hat to cross the vineyards. The warm wind brings subtle smells of salt, rock and thyme. It’s summertime. In the distance, the hidden cicadas evoke the old films of Pagnol. Provence is a postcard. However, it is not devoid of surprises. In the cellar of the domain, where the passer-by can taste the different vintages, the freshness is welcome. The first surprise is very feminine. Clean label, fine lines, and her name: Léa. Sweetness and greed in perspective. In the glass, this dark-hued 2015 vintage lets out the wild scents of the terroir mixed with dark berries. Really, it’s summer. A freshness of undergrowth, already, invites to the tasting. And this blend of Grenache (85%) and Syrah keeps its promise: very elegant, fresh, greedy with a dominant fruit, all in a full and silky mouth. The tannins are balanced and the wild fruits, this time, dominate the spices. Léa persists through a beautiful final. A great wine.
Grenache and Syrah thrive on the plains of Eygalières, but so do Counoise and Cinsault. The 2019 Souffle d’Eole is proof of this. Young, this rosé without sulfites, pure and natural vision of the rosé, shows on its clear dress some orange reflections. It first reveals a greedy nose of wild strawberries, peach and flowers. And finally shows a liveliness not devoid of sweetness that continues on a balanced finish. With a little imagination, we would see before our eyes a plancha and a spicy octopus which, obviously, would be cut for him more than the ice cubes on the edge of the pool. Since it’s summer, let’s enjoy it!
It is necessary to go up a little higher on the massifs to find the vines of roussanne of the domain of Eole. These are worked with a severe pruning and a spring disbudding to guarantee a yield that does not exceed 30 hectoliters per hectare. The Confidence cuvée, made exclusively from this grape variety, is a pure Roussanne expressing its complex aromas of citrus and yellow flowers. Delicate and lively, slightly woody, this great white wine also seduces with its quince and almond finish. It gives, in its register, another glimpse of the beautiful work done by the domain of Eole.