Wine Advocate 90
"The 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is beautiful, with textbook, slightly old-school notes of saddle leather, garrigue, incense and sweet kirsch and blackberry fruit. Made from a blend of 60% Grenache and 10% each of Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault and Counoise, it still has some tannin to integrate, but it has a solid, medium-bodied, classically styled palate feel with lots to like. It should drink nicely through 2021."
Though the origins of the name of our estate remain uncertain – Millière could come from “miliaire” the word for milestone in Roman times – one thing that is sure is that its viticultural vocation is closely linked to the history of the Arnaud family. It was in the 1940s that Fernand Arnaud, already the son and grandson of winemakers and Michel’s grandfather, bought La Millière. At that time on the estate, vineyards were side by side with fruit orchards including cherries and apples.
Aimé, Fernand’s son, very quickly fell under the charm of this land and, at barely 14, decided to devote his life to vines and wine. Over time, Aimé, aided by his father’s advice, transformed La Millière, making the estate fully viticultural. From a very young age, Michel naturally inherited this passion for this land of vines and wine.
Lying half-way between Orange and Châteauneuf-du-Pape, in a corner of nature that remains intact, the roots of our vines delve deep into stony ground heated by the hot Provence sun and swept by the powerful Mistral wind.
Be they on slopes or on terraces, our vineyards play on a geological mosaic where each boasts its own personality: in turn, big river-rolled pebbles, brown clay and light sand make up our plots giving our wine their own special personality. A good number of underwater springs ensure that water levels remain stable, giving our wine natural freshness and minerality.
Our vineyards spread over 26 hectares: 14 ha of our vines are planted in the named area of “Cabrières” in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation area, giving us the grapes for the leading lights of our range; 7 ha are shared between the production of the grapes for our Côtes du Rhône Villages and our Côtes du Rhône; while 5 ha is the source of our Vin de Pays de Vaucluse. The oldest of our vines were planted between 1891 and 1920. Knotted and twisted, tempered by time, these “old ladies” continue to proudly bear their precious bunches of Grenache grapes, which are the emblematic variety of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and the “spirit” of our wines.
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