How did the Merle family make such a wine on their ten hectare estate of Domaine Pontbriand in the Vaucluse? Some 35 years ago, they planted some innovative grape varieties such as Caladoc and Marselan alongside their Grenache on their clay and limestone soils. Today these vines are in their prime and repaying the pioneering spirit which dared to try something different.
Caladoc is a 1958 crossing of Grenache and Malbec which tends to make full-bodied, deeply coloured and robust wines. It also has the advantage over Grenache in that it suffers less from coulure. Marselan, a 1961 crossing of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec, brings good depth of colour too, appealing aromas and on the palate a structure of supple tannins. Paired with some Grenache, you have the encépagment which makes Domaine Pontbriand.
A southern French red wine crammed full of fruit, flavour and affordability!