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Chateau La Coste, Aix en Provence, Wine, Art, Biodynamics, Inspiration!

Art and wine! Art and wine!

It is quite difficult to write about Chateau La Coste, the place is so awe inspiring, I am left short of words, knowing I will never do it justice! So I will tell you what I know.

La Coste is a 124 hectare wine estate based in Le Puy Ste Réparade just outside Cezanne's home town and jewel in the Provencal crown, Aix en Provence. It was set up by Irish property magnate Paddy Mckillen, part owner among other things of the Connaught Hotel and Claridges. His passion for art, architecture and wine inspired a place of breathtaking precision and natural beauty.

The amazing 'Drop' by Tom Shannon at Chateau La Coste The amazing 'Drop' by Tom Shannon at Chateau La Coste

The entire domaine is bio-dynamic, converted and managed by one of France's leading biodynamic exponents Mattieu Cosse (of Cosse Maisonneuve in Cahors). In the creation of the 'Chai', (wine cellar where they make and bottle the wine) no expense was spared.  This is state of the art stuff, not battered 50 year old vats and cobwebs on the walls, yet its aim is to harness the authentic flavours of Provence. It is 17 metres below the ground to maintain a constant and natural cool temperature. Movement of the juice is done using only gravity so as not to upset its natural balance and all the fermentations are using the ambient wild yeast of Provence, so important to capture the environment’s intoxicating scents and aromas. In Mattieu's daily work, every detail is meticulously considered in the pursuit of perfection. But this is not a place where technology and the hand of man is king, Mattieu's role is to work with his natural environment, respect its primacy and allow it to be expressed in the wine.

The incredible 'Chai' at Chateau La Coste The incredible 'Chai' at Chateau La Coste

Around the vineyard the owner's passion for architecture is a constant presence. The estate's principle architect is the Japanese master Tadao Ando, and it also boasts works by Tracey Emin, Frank Gehry, Sean Scully and many more. Visitors can take guided walks through the vines to view the exceptional art works and gorge on Provence's bounty of aromas and sensations.

The wines from La Coste are nature and purity in the glass. Although the cellar is state of the art, the wine making is non-interventionist, following biodynamic principles and the resulting wine is vibrant and complex. The Rosés made mainly from Grenache are the pure essence of Provence culminating in 'Le Grand Vin', old vines of Grenache and very short skin contact to produce a wine of incredible depth and complexity subtly hidden behind a delicate salmon pink appearance. The entry level wines, called Frigousse and made in red, white and pink are fresh, fruity, poised and absolutely delicious. At £12.95 a bottle, they are also excellent value for money.

So for some summer inspiration and fine natural drinking, I highly recommend you get down and buy a few bottles of this beautiful wine from Provence. We will taste them all on the weekend of 7th-9th August in our shop at The Courtyard, hope you can make it!

Happy summer time slurping.


La Coste wines on-line at BUON VINO