Chronologically Domaine de la Solitude is one of the oldest estates in the entire Rhône region. By any other standard it’s one of the most youthful. The tipping point took place a few years ago when young Florent Lançon stepped into the position of winemaker for the family estate. It’s been lights out ever since, thanks to a string of mid-ninety point scores from the industry’s top wine scribes and even more gratifying, high acclamation from a discerning peer group.
Recognizing this, Dreyfus Ashby – the famed importer of top quality European wines – stepped in and agreed to handle the Domaine’s wines in the U.S. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that a partnership between Domaine de la Solitude and Dreyfus Ashby comprises a formidable alliance! Here at Wine Warehouse, we’re happy to just carry water for these two titans.
The raw materials already were in place when the catalyst, young Florent Lançon succeeded his father and uncle as the estate’s wine master. The historic family estate combines both girth – it’s an ample spread stretching over a hundred contiguous acres with the added benefit of location, location, location – it sits in the very center of the appellation on the western edge of the coveted La Crau plateau, just steps away from the postcard pretty village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
This is “terroir central” in the region’s classiest appellation and home to a number of prestigious “lieux-dits” – essentially notable small areas with unique or special characteristics that influence the grapes that grow there. In the hands of the right winemaker, very special wines can be made from the primo grapes grown on La Crau’s granite ledges. The vines are special too. Some of them are 100 years old. All thirteen permitted grape varietals grow well in La Crau’s hospitable soil mix of sand, loam and clay but the focus at Domaine de la Solitude is on four whites – Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Clairette and Bourboulenc and four reds – Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault.