Domaine de la Roseraie - The Garden of Roses

Domaine de la Roseraie - The Garden of Roses

Domaine de la Roseraie does not have any cuvée with cru classification, and none from a renowned climat. The founder and winemaker, Julien Petitjean, does not come from a family of vignerons, hence inherits no legacy. There is hardly any published literature on the estate and the wines - run a Google search and you are likely to end up in the website of a Moroccan hotel. Yet, when we first brought in this label last year, we managed to sell out our first batch of stocks, and garnered new fans who enjoyed the quality and value of the wines as much as us.

Julien spent at least 10 years working in various domaines, in different outfits from a labourer to a vineyard manager, before eventually setting up his own estate in 2012. Perhaps it was his academic background, or perhaps it was the accumulation of savoir-faire during his long internship, Julien opted to replicate ancestral winemaking techniques that were used since the 13th century. In the name of ancestral winemaking, Julien clearly deviates from modern conventions. Modern vinification processes are  drastically simplified, in favour of short maceration periods, semi-carbonic incorporation, without the machine-driven steps of grape crushing, punch down, pump over. In vine management, he works on short pruning in the ‘goblet’ style, instead of the traditional Guyot, in order to  generate relatively smaller grapes to achieve a sweet spot in the juice-skin balance that maximises the aroma that is eventually released from the wine. He also leaves room for improvisation - tweaking strategies each day according to how the juices evolve, leaving things to chance while engaging in long-term barrel ageing on the lees.

Other than Senex, the most complex, full-bodied, intensely aromatic cuvée, and Juvens (formerly Montée Rouge), a fresh and energetic, fruity and equally aromatic offering, we have three new cuvées to introduce.

There is the refreshing, easy-drinking Gymnopodie, the bright, floral and mineral Bouzeron, and the decadent, creamy Meursault. We can’t decide which is our favourite, because each serves its own occasion, and bears the domaine’s signature vigour, freshness and aromatic nose. Domaine de la Roseraie offers the best value for money as far as we can think of, and we are pretty sure to be recommending these wines over and over again. If we really have to say it, Domaine de la Roseraie is the dark horse amongst our favourite labels.

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