The joy of ter­roir

Decanter - - CONTENTS -

Clos Ste-Magdeleine cov­ers 20 hectares on the south­west coast of Provence in Cas­sis, one of France’s old­est ap­pel­la­tions. The ter­races are on sea-fac­ing slopes lead­ing to­wards the Cap Canaille, the coun­try’s high­est coastal cliff. The es­tate has be­longed to the Zafirop­ulo fam­ily since 1920, and its Art Deco villa can be seen to the right of the vine­yard, along­side vast cel­lars dat­ing to 1850. This photo shows plant­ings of Marsanne, Ugni Blanc, Clairette and Bour­boulenc vines, aged be­tween 15 and 40 years old. These are blended to cre­ate the es­tate’s dry white, which ex­presses the strong min­er­al­ity of the lime­stone soils and a fresh salin­ity from the Mediter­ranean breezes. Clos Ste-Magdeleine’s beauty was recog­nised by direc­tor Jac­ques Deray, who chose it as the set­ting for part of his 1970 gang­ster film Bor­salino, star­ring Alain Delon and Jean-Paul Bel­mondo.

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