Lidewij van Wilgen, a successful marketing executive in The Netherlands, started a new life in 2002 when she moved with her 3 young daughters to become a winemaker in the Languedoc. The vineyards were restored, the wine cellar renovated and the main house rebuilt. Now she is one of the ‘Leading Ladies of Languedoc’ and is highly regarded by Jancis Robinson and many other wine writers. Certified organic principles are applied to both viticulture and vinification, her naturally irrigated 14-hectare vineyard being a mix of clay, limestone, flint and fossilized oyster shells.
Terre Des Dames La Diva 2018
La Diva is a deep, wild, supple red with an attractive complexity that improves with aging. Aged in barrel (big volume, finest quality French oak) for at least 12 months.
The originality of this wine comes from its blend: Syrah 45%, and Grenache 23% (from the estate’s top AOC plots) along with 16 % Alicante coming from 100-years old vines, giving no more than 15 hl/ha.
“But the magic ingredient is probably the Alicante Henri Bouchet – a very old goblet-pruned vine, estimated age between 80 and 100 years, yields only 15 hl/ha. When fully ripe, the grape is like blackberry marmelade– too intense on its own, but superb in a blend. The Grenache comes from our oldest plot of Grenache (1975), planted on a hill, surrounded by trees and wild scrubland. All dry grown vineyards, harvest and sorting as for the other wines all by hand. Gentle and respectful vinification.
Long skin-contact; around three, sometimes four weeks, the hand selection strongly lowering the risk of rise in volatility.
Directly after the pressing (very soft, as for la Dame) the Syrah and the Allicante are aged in barrels.
With time, we have abandoned all our Bordeaux barrels because we considered the wood too predominant. We now exclusively use large volume Burgundy barrels of 500 and 600 liters (Damy, Meursault) of a very discreet and delicate quality, allowing a slight oxygenation and the development of opulence without any predominance of wood. Time in barrel: one year. Then another year in concrete vats before the final blending.”
La Diva is a more intense wine with more character – but it retains the typical freshness of the estate. All its scents of garrigue, thyme and rosemary seem to come together best in this cuvée.
‘Vin de France’ because of the presence of Alicante – the plots are all classified AOP, yields only 25 hl/ha.
883 cases made