Aurélien & Charlotte Houillon Indigo Côtes-du-Rhône 2018

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REGION:
Vaucluse, Côtes-du-Rhône, France
GRAPES:
Syrah & Grenache
VINEYARD:
Organic & Biodynamic
CELLAR:
Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, no additional sulphites
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Charlotte has used indigo blue natural pigments as well as vine shoots and iris to make the beautiful label. This is one of the top wines at the domaine – old vines yielding concentrated grapes, vinification 'en cuve fermée' (semi-carbonic maceration in stainless steel vats, the tanks are sealed with a floating lid which retains CO2, keeps the cap immersed and prevents the growth of bacteria) for 14 weeks, ageing in stainless steel vat and bottling in April 2019. This is where Aurélien's fine touch comes into play, the wine is deep and structured but he manages to retain so much freshness and nuances within it. Indigo also expresses complex and enticing aromas of bramble fruits, viola flowers and blood orange – a stunning bottling from the Houillons.

The name Houillon might ring a bell. Aurélien is none other than the brother of Emmanuel and Adeline Houillon. The trio learnt and worked alongside Pierre Overnoy in Arbois (from 2007 to 2013 concerning Aurélien) while progressively buying him out. The siblings eventually parted ways. Aurélien as well as Adeline (now of Bruyère-Houillon fame) sold their share to Emmanuel and went on different journeys.

Tucked in a small valley (300m altitude) at the foot of the majestuous Mont Ventoux, the domaine and its vines benefit from a microclimate. A north to south stream passes by the farm which cools temperature down, while woodland to the east blocks morning sun, preserves dew and increases humidity; a perfect combination of factors in this otherwise hot and dry area. The soils are characterised by the local 'safre', a thin and friable sand from the Miocene epoch, mixed with clay and blue/grey marl. This type of marl is similar to the precious water-retaining one found in the best terroirs of the not-so-distant Rasteau and Cairanne ACs.