Domaine Gourt de Mautens Leaves the AOC Rasteau
Just as Antonio Galloni withdrew his connection to The Wine Advocate, Domaine Gourt de Mautens has opted to depart from the AOC Rasteau. Once the estate’s proprietor Jerome Bressy learned that the varietal Picardan would be excluded from the AOC classification, alongside a required reduction of other minor varietals to less than 15% of any AOC Rasteau blend, Jerome decided to relabel his wines as IGP Vaucluse.
A rebranding of sorts that will not lead to Bressy’s being sued by the AOC, Jerome has taken it one step further by deciding to also declassify his 2011 and 2010 vintages.
Jerome Bressy in the Vineyard
Committed to preserving the minor but traditional and indigenous Rhone varietals that are interplanted in his vineyards, Bressy, who had convinced his father to convert to organic viticulture in 1989, requested and was granted permission to revive these varietals, including Picardan, Picpoul, Counoise Vaccarese, Cinsault and Terret, which are still permitted in Chateauneuf du Pape.
Unwilling to part with what had rightfully been his since Jerome took over the Domaine from his father in 1998, Bressy maintained his steadfast conviction in the benefits of such diversity in his vineyards, and opted in favor of tradition over regulation.
Following a decision made by l’Organisme de Defense et de Gestion des Appellations du Rhône in September 2012, to sanction the upcoming harvest from Domaine Gourt de Mautens, thereby excluding it from AOC Rasteau for the red wine and from AOC Côtes du Rhône for the white and rosé, Jerome declassified himself. With his wines now labeled as IGP Vaucluse, Jerome can not only include all of his currently planted varietals in whatever proportions he chooses, but he can also retain the use of the word Domaine.
Changing only the label, the contents of his bottles will remain uncompromised. With 13ha of vines that are 50-years-old on average and Demeter certified, there are a portion of his plantings that are over 100-years-old. As Jerome continues to debud his vines in spring, so that they result in incredibly low yields of 10-15hl/ha, Domaine Gourt de Mautens produces only 800-1,600 cases of wine annually, unfiltered and unfined, with indigenous yeasts only.