From winemaker Nicolas Souchon and consultant Phillipe Cambie, the Volcae is a vision of a Chateauneuf du Pape-style blend in an unorthodox appellation. Duches d’Uzes is a relatively new AOC (2013) located in Southern Rhone towards the Western side. Unlike much of Southern Rhone, this region largely avoids the Mistral winds and experiences a more Mediterranean climate. Additionally, there is increased use of ‘Mediterranean’ varietals such as Carignan. This blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Carignan, provides both the tertiary notes of Rhone with the fruit you would expect from a warmer climate. The nose offers red and black fruits, espresso, and hints of tar. The palate is richly-full bodied with firm tannins and balanced acid, while offering rich plum and blueberry notes, dark chocolate, and granite-driven minerality. Like many rich reds, steak is likely the way to go, but something earthier like a mushroom-driven dish would also work well.
Nicolas Souchon, a young oenologist working at Clos St Jean, in Châteauneuf du Pape, decided to embark on a side project: making wine of his own. His family’s vineyard lies on the opposite side of the Rhone and made for an exciting challenge. He yielded about 20-25 hl/ha and practices the Lutte Raisonnée (sustainable) farming technique. With the help of Philippe Cambie he introduced his first vintage, 2010, in 2012 to the American market.