Domaine de la Citadelle, Cotes du Luberon 2004 (Gouverneur Saint Auban) 14.5% (The Wine Store) *****

Heading down to Provence this summer and needed to do a bit of research. And that groundwork started this weekend when I sampled a bottle of Côtes du Luberon red from Mrs. Tyrrell at the Wine Store. It arrived on Valentine’s Day and, yes, I am loving it, and looking forward to visiting Domaine de la Citadelle, which is just over about an hour away from proposed base in Fontvieille.
Looking forward also to visiting lots of other Rhone and Provence wine areas in the vicinity and would be glad to hear of any tips from any of you familiar with the area and its vineyards. Already, I have a great source via Mary Dowey and her site http://www.provencefoodandwine.com
In 1989 Yves Rousset-Rouard purchased an ancient provençale mas (farmhouse) with 8 hectares of vines and decided to throw all his passion and efforts into creating Domaine de la Citadelle and sculpting a "grand vin" that reflects the quality and typicity of the Côtes du Luberon appellation, the youngest of the great names of the Rhône Valley. Now he is one of the top producers of the Luberon, listed as such by Hugh Johnson.
Before that, the bold Rousset-Rouard was a producer of a different kind entirely as he was the man behind the early Emmanuelle films, a mildy erotic (very mild indeed when they got past our censor) series that went on and on for many years. No shortage of spice in his wines either which generally include Syrah and Grenache
But back to the bottle in hand. The colour is garnet and it has inviting fruit aromas, well ripened black fruits and hints of spice. In the mouth it is intense, well structured and velvety, no shortage of fruit and a good matching of tannins, elegant and velvety and perfectly balanced. It has a great body and mouth feel and was a fine accompaniment to Durcan’s rack of lamb cooked according to the recipe in Pat Whelan’s An Irish Butcher Ship. It was opened a couple of hours before serving and decanted.
This Gouverneur Saint Auban is a limited edition and is predominantly Syrah, with a little Grenache. A great excuse to head to the Midi.