The story of the Lavau family, with its passion for wine and its love of the terroir and the land, began in Saint-Émilion in the 19th century.
It continued in Tunisia where René Lavau and his son transformed a small estate of vines and orange trees into a flourishing business which became the country’s biggest wine producer. Jean-Guy Lavau (René’s grandson) and his wife Anne-Marie returned to France in the 1960s and took charge of a small winemaking cellar in Sablet at the heart of the Rhone Valley.
This would become the Maison LAVAU in 1965.
Some 30 years later, Frédéric and Benoît Lavau have joined the team at their family winery which has since become a renowned and respected name in Rhone Valley winemaking. They have secured the future of their winemaking business and completed and enhanced their expertise by becoming creators of cuvees and producers.
They have purchased several vineyards in the Rasteau, Valréas and Côtes du Rhône appellations and entered into partnership with the Château Maucoil in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Côtes du Rhône
Location: This wine is derived from selected vineyards in the Vaucluse and Gard “departments” of France.
Terroir: Our whites are selected from vines growing in clay-limestone plains and hillsides.
Grape varieties: Grenache blanc (60%) Viognier (40%)
Production: After a light skin maceration, the grapes are pressed and placed in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats. Fermentation is carried out at low temperature to preserve as much fruit as possible. Ageing also takes place in vats, on the fines lees, with no malolactic fermentation taking place, in order to preserve the crisp, crunchy character of this easy-drinking wine.
Tasting notes: A lovely nose of peaches and pears with delicate anise overtones. Delicious on the palate with lovely fat, beautiful freshness and long-lingering aromas.
Tasting tips: Serve between 12 and 14°C, not too cold, to enable the aromas to come through. Enjoy with a fish terrine, salmon tartare seasoned fish or even a mid-dry goat’s cheese.
La Décelle Le Carré
Benoit and Frédéric Lavau discovered "La Decelle", a superb wine
domaine in the heart of the Enclaves des Popes in Valréas, in 2010.
The "Le Carré" wine comes from a 5 ha plot planted on a south-facing slope in the centre of the domaine. It has an exceptional quality potential, and its name makes reference to its geometry.
Grape varieties: Grenache 40% Syrah 60%
Production: “Le Carré” is only produced in exceptional years. After a long vinification, the wine is aged in new 228L and 450L barrels for 24 months. The best barrels of wine are then selected and blended to create “Le Carré”, of which only around 3,000 bottles are produced. This work of fine craftsmanship creates a robust Grenache and very elegant Syrahs, comparable to the great Syrahs of the northern Rhône Valley.
“Powerful and complex on the nose with roasted aromas combined with a touch of chocolate. Full and generous on the palate, meaty, lovely black fruit aromas underpinned by the same roasted notes” We recommend decanting “Le Carré” one hour before serving in order to appreciate its full character.
Grapes: 100% destemmed
Traditional vindication: 25 days maceration, pumping over, and rack and return.
Tasting notes: Complex nose of red fruit, marzipan, spices and candied fruit ….. notes of cocoa when the wine opens up. Full and fresh on the palate, with notes of strawberry jam and chocolate overtones. Soft, silky tannins with a long, fruity finish.
Ageing: 24 months in new 228L and 450L French oak barrels.
Cooper: Rousseau, Burgundy.
Pays d'Oc – White
Grape varieties: 100% Chardonnay
Yield: 45 hl/ha
Vinification: Stainless steel tank (to preserve the varietal aromas)
Tasting notes: Fresh nose of peach, pear, a hint of citrus, elegant and unctuous body, touch of almond, citrus.
Domaine de Carmignan Côtes du Rhône – Red
Domaine de Carmignan covers 30 hectares lying between Chusclan and Pont Saint Esprit, on the right bank of the River Rhône. Benoît and Frédéric Lavau acquired it in 2011, having fallen in love with the great diversity of its grape varieties and the particular character and elegance of the wines produced in this land of the Gard region.
“Deep red hue with purplish tints … Ripe red fruit, pine forest and garrigue scrubland with a touch of liquorice, on the nose … Delectable on the palate with loads of fruit, a hint of sweet drops over a lovely structure, underpinned by lovely strong tannin”
50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 5% Carignan, 5% Cinsault.
Total destemming, light cold pre-fermentation maceration, 15 days maceration and ageing in stainless steel vat.
16-17°C, with a grilled rack of beef.
Domaine les Evigneaux Rasteau – Red
Benoit and Frederic Lavau have always been fans of Rasteau which became a cru in 2010, and they have been making it for many years. Because of their special fondness for these vineyards whose outstanding exposure they recognise and which they consider to be “atypical”, they decided to acquire 10 ha in the appellation in 2014. their 12 plots are located in Rasteau’s most emblematic terroirs. these are ideal vineyards for their plans to create a wine capable of delivering all the complexity and power of this extraordinary AOC.
the Syrah vines are planted in the gravel and clay soil of the Quaternary terraces of Bellerive. Located in the south of the appellation, these are sunny and early ripening, providing the vines with perfect growing conditions. e Grenaches are planted to the north in cooler soil, accentuating the variance between day and night time temperatures and thereby enhancing the colour and aromatic intensity of the varietal. the pebble and gravel soil mixed with complex clay allows constant, even drainage and water supply.
“The nose is complex and of great depth, a mixture of blackcurrant, raspberry and vanilla extract. The palate is meaty and develops its intensity and power across the entire length of the wine. The tannins are robust and well integrated, promising a spectacular result after 3 to 5 years’ cellar ageing (if you can wait that long!).”
Blend: Grenache 50% Syrah 30% Carignan 10% Mourvèdre 5% Cinsault 5%
Yield: 36 hl/ha 100% Destemmed grapes
Vinication: cold pre-fermentation maceration, followed by 28 days maceration with pumping over and rack and return.
Ageing: 12 months in new 228L barrels
Cooperage: François Frères, Burgundy.