The Grandes Serres estate, created in the late 1970s in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, is now one of the great names in the region. Samuel Montgermont has been giving it a new dynamism and a concern for quality for almost 10 years, based on a vision of the wines of the region.
By Xavier Aubercy
They have one thing in common: they both fell under the spell of this little corner of Vaucluse, in the southern Rhone valley, between Avignon to the south, the Rhone to the west and the Dentelles de Montmirail to the east Of the former, history records that he officially installed the papacy in Avignon at the beginning of the 14th century and that he canonized Saint Thomas Aquinas at the same time. But also that he brought in vines from Cahors to develop an important vineyard around the recently built castle at the top of the village that was to become Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It is Pope John XXII. From the second, we must recognize a genuine passion for the vine. If nothing predestined him to settle here, this Breton by birth, lawyer by training and rocker at times, cannot hide the love at first sight he had for the region in 2011, when the Picard family, owner of the Grandes Serres estate created in Châteauneuf-du-Pape in 1977, entrusted him with the keys. “I had carte blanche to develop the estate,” recalls Samuel Montgermont, head of the Grandes Serres, which in a few years has become one of the great names in the region.
Samuel Montgermont has made good use of this freedom of action. Completely remodeling an estate is not an easy task, but today he can pride himself on having made it a reference since Les Grandes Serres, which specializes in trading but also has a few hectares of vines, offers wines from almost all the appellations of the southern Rhone Valley.. In the fall of 2020, he’ll even release his first estate Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 100% Grenache and vintage 2019, which is shaping up beautifully. His wines, by and large, are made without added sulfites, but Samuel Montgermont doesn’t shout it from the rooftops. “Our plots are naturally privileged,” he says humbly. This is due to a very present mistral wind which favors the sanitation of the vineyard, to an ideal sunshine for the ripening of the grapes and to a double rainy season in autumn and in spring.
Based on the Burgundian model and the collaboration with 25 winemakers, Samuel Montgermont works as an artisan-negociant at Les Grandes Serres and produces wines for all budgets, made from grapes from different AOC domains. His singularity allows him to take the time to listen to the grapes and to let the material speak without rushing it. And the result does not deceive with wines with a sometimes provocative freshness in a region where the tannins often show a viril and powerful aspect.
So when summer comes, this beautiful 2018 white Carius is a must. This Cairanne made of white grenache, roussanne, marsanne and viognier, from mountain clays and garrigues, reveals a nice nose of summer fruits with a slight floral touch. Round and well-balanced, it reveals a minerality and a great freshness indissociable from a beautiful sunny day. For its part, the 2019 rosé without sulfite, in IGP Méditerranée, exhales under its pale dress aromas of strawberries and citrus fruits. Lively and ample, this natural wine of Ventoux, elaborated with black grenache, syrah and carignan, seduces by its length inviting to the relaxation. The aperitif suits him as well as fresh raw fish starters. For its part, the Côtes-du-Rhône Village Visan 2019, also organic and without sulfite, offers a frank greediness with marked black fruits and mentholated notes. The most knowledgeable perceive the frank taste of the black olive. In spite of a crunchy juice, it surprises by its freshness and accompanies with pleasure the dishes with aromatic herbs.
> Caveau des Grandes Serres (Gigondas) : 04.90.83.72.22.