The Brothers Alary are the 10th generation of winemakers to tend this estate over the last 300 years. When we tasted this bottle in their cellar, you could taste their accrued knowledge and experience with every sip. Intense flavors of crushed red fruits, black cherries, pepper and spice deliver an energetic performance, wrapped in a plush, enveloping texture worthy of a standing ovation.
When brothers Frédéric and François Alary took over this family farm in the Southern Rhône town of Cairanne in 1984, they were extending 300 years of winemaking history at this terrific domaine. Today the brothers work 25 hectares of 40-100 year old Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre hillside vines. The domaine is named for a little oratoire, or tiny chapel, built in the middle of their vineyard. This domaine takes sustainability seriously: they are certified organic by Ecocert, and biodynamic, by Demeter. Those are expensive certifications, which demonstrates the depth of their commitment New oak is not part of the program here. All of the wines are raised in concrete cuves, as well as neutral foudres and demi-muids (both are large format barrels). The Alarys strive to create wines that, in their words, are "a wine to drink over and over again, a subtle wine, with fruit hints, harmonious and vigorous at the same time, and which would ideally gather rugby men and ballet dancers, sweet dreamers and loudmouths, curious amateurs and picky aficionados."