Picasso's Demoiselles might not have depicted Avignon in the kindest light. In fact, those ladies weren't even from Avignon, they were from a sporting house in Barcelona! The real Avignon is a lovely place, and even Picasso would have struggled to introduce any kind of grotesquerie to this delightfully youthful Côtes du Rhône, grown in the area surrounding the town.
Packed with clean, fresh and juicy blackcurrant fruit, the wine is also suitable for those of a vegetarian or vegan persuasion. Unlike Pablo's Demoiselles, who didn't seem entirely cut out for any kind of sensitivity, if we're honest.
Reserve de Fleur Cotes du Rhône comes from the wine co-operative La Cave de Vignerons d'Estézargues. The co-operative was established in 1965 and now controls 400 hectares of vines, mainly in the Cotes du Rhône and Cotes du Rhône Villages areas. The winery saw great changes in the 1990s, when it moved from selling bulk wine locally to selling bottled wine to a growing customer base. Its main focus is on young, fruit-driven wines, made with the lowest possible use of additives.
Reserve de Fleur hails from near Avignon, in the Southern Rhône Valley. The clay soil is covered by the large round pebbles peculiar to the area, and the low-yielding 25-year-old vines give grapes of good concentration and intensity. Vineyards are protected by the Mistral wind, which blows strong in the region and which gives a natural ventilation which helps to protect the grapes from disease
Made traditionally, with a 15-day low temperature fermentation to bring the clean fruit characteristics to the fore. No oak is used, and the wine is bottled unfiltered to pack in even more flavour. It has appetising aromas of red and black berries, with fresh fruit and pepper on the palate over a succulent licorice texture. Would pair very nicely with rabbit stew or chorizo.