Brigitte et Alain Place
L’Heure Bleue drinks the DGC through rose-coloured glasses
When he took over the vineyard in 2012, Alain Place carried on the “Chti” tradition of this Provence winery which had belonged since 1957 to his “compatriots” from the north of France. Perched in an “angel’s nest” at an altitude of 300 metres, directly below Notre-Dame.
This new designation showcases the work done on the ground
The vineyard was completely reorganized and awakened from its slumber thanks to intelligent services of the oenology lab at BTOEV Consulting (in Draguignan), which Alain Place gave an expanded remit running from advice to management of the vineyard. “Starting with a blank slate, we wrote up the new identity and strategy of L’Heure Bleue together, assisted by the precious support of those professionals. We decided to emphasize quality over quantity, as well as organic cultivation, under the Côtes de Provence AOC. This approach has been rewarded on multiple occasions, with medals both national and regional”, Alain Place states with pride.
L’Heure Bleue has two growing zones spanning a total of 11 hectares, one in Carnoules and the other in Gonfaron, where Notre-Dame des Anges grapes are grown on four hectares of calcareous clay soil. “That recognizable red rock is very attractive for the minerality and smoothness that we look for when making wine, before it can be enjoyed from the bottle”, explains Margaux Armand-Vauchelet of the BTOEV Consulting lab.
Although the vineyard produces wine in all three colours, only its high-end rosé falls under the Notre-Dame des Anges DGC. Named Aube Azur, it is made mainly of Grenache and Cinsault, with some Syrah added into the blend. “This wine boasts a delicate, fruity attack”, the oenologist notes. “You can taste the smoothness and minerality in a harmonious, elegant final product that makes you want to fill your glass again and again…” She is thrilled with this new designation, which showcases the work done on the ground.
“The Notre-Dame des Anges DGC is leaving its mark on the topography of our growing zone, boosts its visibility and allows us to claim our wines’ specific qualities and properties within the Côtes de Provence family”, remarks Alain.
Pale pink in colour, with a few glints of silver. Its bouquet features lemony and spicy aromatics evolving into notes of white fruit. On the palate, the attack is energetic, accompanied by a full, velvety structure enhanced by a spicy character. Take a moment to savour the aromas of citrus and ginger, followed by a saline, mineral finish.