Anne and Jacques Callet bought this stunning 17th century château in 1996. In its heyday this had been the residence of the Archbishop of Avignon and was famed for its exquisite wines and beautiful views. The Callets' set out, with incredible determination, to restore the site to its former glory. They completely renovated the cellars, overhauled production to have the vineyards certified as organic and employed winemaker Philippe Cambie, former French front row Rugby player and Robert Parker's 'Best Winemaker of the Year' of 2010 and also the winemaker of Swig's best selling wine ever, the 'Cersius' Côtes du Rhône 2010. As a consultant it can be tempting to make wine by formula, a crowd pleaser with lots of new oak and high alcohol. Cambie is different: he prefers to really get to know the terroir of each site and let that guide the wine.
We have sourced two of Cambie's wines that have both captured our imagination in different ways. The Côtes du Rhône is a juicy, traditional style packed full of flavour and fruit. It is ideal now with Easter lamb, will work perfectly with grilled meats at summer barbecues and can be polished off at the end of the year with a winter roast. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape, on the other hand, is one to age - or cheat and decant a few times. At the moment it is brooding and intense with layer upon layer of flavour; perfectly scrumptious, but let it relax and open to see its true beauty.