WineAnorak – A southern Rhône star

A SOUTHERN RHÔNE STAR

Wineanorak– wineanorak.com – 14th of March 2024

Escaravailles means bettle in Occitan, hence the scarb beetle on the label. I tasted these wines with Madeline Ferran, who joined the family domaine back in 2018 and is now helping to run things. Her father, Gilles Ferran, is largely responsible for the domaine as it stands now, and made his first wines here in 1999. He was good friends with the late Philip Cambie, who provided consultancy advice (they both graduated the same year from enology school in Montpellier, with Giles first and Philip second).

This domaine has 60 hectares of vineyards, but sadly the families involved are currently splitting so the domaine will be half the size going forwards. One half of the family is taking vines that her 80 year old grandfather has been working on since the age of 14, so this is very sad for him, says Madeline. These are really impressive wines, and the line-up is consistently good, both for whites and reds. Pricing is sensible, too.

THE WINES

Domaine des Escaravailles La Ponce Blanc 2022 Côtes du Rhône, France
Fermented and matured in stainless steel plus one amphora. Lovely supple sweet fruit with citrus, pear and cherry with fine grained structure and a lovely juiciness. Stylish and fresh. 92/100

Domaine des Escaravailles La Galopine Blanc 2022 Côtes du Rhône, France
Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier in barrels plus one clay pot (from Andalusia in Spain). Lovely depth with spice, pear, almond and cherry notes as well as some apricot richness. Fresh and appealing. Lovely wine. 93/100

Domaine des Escaravailles Les Sablieres 2020 Côtes du Rhône, France
70% Grenache, 30% Syrah, in sandy soils. Vivid, fresh and supple with bright raspberry and cherry fruit with nice acidity and focus. Very pure and juicy but has a hint of seriousness. 92/100

Domaine des Escaravailles Les Antimagnes 2020 Côtes du Rhône, France
80% Grenache and 20% Syrah, from older vines, matured in concrete. Supple and grainy with nice grip, with lovely sweet cherry and plum fruit but also nice spicy detail. Has a savoury twist on the finish. 93/100

Domaine des Escaravailles Scarabée Libéré 2021 Cairanne, France
50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault, 10% Syrah. No added sulfites, hence ‘libre’. Fresh, light and juicy with red cherries, plums and some herbal notes. There’s brightness here, and a supple personality. Some peppery notes on the finish. 91/100

Domaine des Escaravailles Le Ventabren 2020 Cairanne, France
70% Grenache, 10% Carignan, 10% Syrah. Matured in concrete. Very fresh and expressive with juicy cherries and plums. There’s fresh bright fruit here with a peppery twist. Fine grained with nice detail. 93/100

Domaine des Escaravailles La Boutine 2020 Cairanne, France
85 year old Grenache raised in concrete. Supple, pure and very fine with redcurrants and cherry. Elegant and bright with real refinement, and a bit of grip on the finish. Nice precision here. 94/100

Domaine des Escaravailles Classique 2020 Rasteau, France
80% Grenache and 20% Syrah in concrete. Supple and fresh with nice juicy berry fruits. Some grippy structure here. Pure, delicious and bright. 92/100

Domaine des Escaravailles Les Coteaux 2020 Rasteau, France
80% Grenache, 20% Syrah, in concrete. Supple and juicy with nice bright fruit. Vivid cherry and plums with lovely weight and a touch of pepper. Pure and smashable. 93/100

Domaine des Escaravailles Heritage 1924 2020 Rasteau, France
Grenache from concrete. Sweet and fruity with nice spices and a concentrated cherry and plum core. Bold and vivid with sweet cherries and plums. Nicely intense, showing good structure and finesse. 95/100

Domaine des Escaravailles Argilla ad Argillam 2020 Rasteau
Supple, ripe and nicely weighted with sweet, pure cherry and blackberry fruit with some peppery hints. Sweet liqueur-like red fruits with a nice fine-grained structure, showing a smoothness but also enough structure. Has some brightness as well as pure, lush fruit. Very stylish. 94/100

Domaine des Escaravailles Les Hautes Granges 2021 Roaix, Côtes du Rhône Villages, France
Pure Syrah that spends 13 months in oak. Powerful and rich with vivid, direct black fruits. Lush cherries, blackberries and some pepper here, with a sweet fruit core and some wood showing. Good potential for development. 93/100