Clos de Trias, Ventoux

Even Bakke was born in Boulder, Colorado, raised in Norway, learnt his wine craft back in California then, by luck of a chance meeting married a Champenoises and bought a run-down domaine in the foothills of the famous or infamous if you enjoy cycling, Cotes du Ventoux in the southern Rhone.

Maybe you have seen comedian Stewart Francis? Even's deadpan humour and one-liners remind me of him. Having discovered Clos de Trias in 2006 after a three year search, perhaps you could say he needed his sense of humour: The appellation of Ventoux well down the pecking order in sought after Southern Rhone wines.

In a sense, the lack of recognition for the wines of Ventoux plays into Even's hands. No rules, nothing to be expected, after all fine wines cannot be made here, can they?

Clos de Trias is made up of over 40 parcels of vines scattered throughout the wilderness as you head out and above the pretty medieval town of Le Barroux. Even's vineyards are easy to pick out, devoid of any pesticides, they look delightfully wild and seem to be humming with biodiversity.

Clos de Trias, Ventoux

The Wines
This is deeply intuitive wine-making. Even doesn't harvest by analysis, but according to taste and flavour. There is a miniscule amount of his evocative, complex & slightly old fashion white, which is given half a day contact on the skins, no added yeast, no temperature control and a long, gentle fermentation in demi-muids and tank. This textural blend of Grenache Blanc & Clairette comes ith a saline, mineral tang - Even says this is he Triassic soil talking - either way, it is completely non commercial & a real joy to taste.

Even’s estate, by virtue of his vineyards holdings, is however, about red wines. Tasting here and you will forget that you are in Ventoux. In fact you could well be tasting amongst the sandy soils a little way further south-west in Chateauneuf-du-Pape; Rayas or Bonneau perhaps...?

The grapes for his flagship red wine - which represents 80% of his production - come from an assortment of 40 different parcels. The blend is dominated by Grenache. Harvest is carried out "only by friends and family" in the cool mornings and sorted using a table-de-trie. De-stemming is sometimes used, sometimes not, depending upon conditions and vintage. No added yeasts and little or no SO2. There is a cold soak of between 2-5 days before fermentation kicks in. Maceration times depends on each tank, sometimes as little as 9 days, sometimes as many as 50! Decisions over pumping and racking come purely from tasting each and every vat up to five times a day. Ageing is up to three years in a mixture of tank and demi-muids which, when you consider where we are, is extraordinary.

Even also produces, or occasionally produces two other red wines, both extremely limited in production: a vieille vigne, created from 70+ year old Grenache vines with a little Syrah from the lieu-dits of Les Grand Terres and Le Jas. Maceration can last up to 47 days. For me, this is Rayas in all but name.

Pied Porcher is a micro-cuvée (around 1800 bottles) coming from a single vineyard which rises up to 500 metres and faces north. (The main picture shows Even standing on his beloved Triassic soil in the Pied Porcher vineyard) This cuvée is only made in the finest years when ripeness permits and the skins, stems and sugars are all evenly balanced. In Even's words "my homage to those great wines of Chateauneuf-du-Pape".

Despite Even somehow secretly changing my iphone settings to Norwegian, I still belive him to be one of the good guys and visiting Clos de Trias was a nice reminder of why I have a wine business. 

Clos de Trias Ventoux

Fine Wine Stocklist at Darley Abbey Wines

Fine Wine Stocklist at Darley Abbey Wines

To receive our next offer from this producer - Please join our mailing list

Buy Clos de Trias Ventoux Fine Wine Stocklist at Darley Abbey Wines