Founded 160 years ago in the heart of the northern Côtes du Rhône, Delas Freres today crafts world class wines from both northern and southern Rhône.
Tending the steep sloping vineyards, which total some 30 hectares of vines, the team adapt their growing practices to each plot of vines to let the terroir of the Rhône shine through in the wines.
Crafted by winemaker Jacques Grange (who is originally from Burgundy), the wines from Delas Freres epitomise finesse and elegance. Recent vintages from the vineyards of Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Côte Rôtie, Condrieu, Côtes-du-Rhône and Côtes-du-Ventoux have bee lauded in the press for their intensity of flavour and excellent value.
The soils consist of light schist and gneiss over a granite bedrock and the climate is moderately continental, with hot and dry summers, and moderate rainfall the rest of the year.
The grapes for the cuvée “François de Tournon” are picked by hand, row by row, at optimum ripeness. The fermentation is traditionally in open topped concrete tanks, and is preceded by 2 days cold maceration. It is conducted at controlled temperatures of 82°F to 86°F (28°C to 30°C). Daily cap pushing down and pumping over are carried out for about 10 days. The total vatting time can last up to 20 days.
The wine is matured for between 10 to 14 months in 1 to 3 year old oak barrels. Part of the cuvée is aged in vats to preserve the freshness of the fruit.
A rainy winter followed by a dry, warm spring gave good water reserves combined with high temperatures which resulted in early bud burst and a quick and healthy start to the vegetative cycle. In mid-May, flowering was followed by exceptional fruit set with almost every flower bearing fruit. July and August were cooler and the rain returned, in small amounts, but every weekend. Although not enough to disrupt the vegetative cycle, it was enough to worry the wine growers. The end of summer was sunny and windy with ideal weather for healthy vines with optimum ripeness levels. This ensured perfect conditions for harvesting. Delas was one of the last to harvest, particularly in the Côte-Rôtie (between the 22nd and the 24th of September) ensuring good phenolic ripeness.
2014 was an excellent year for the hillside vineyard parcels which produced low yields of outstanding quality. This phenomenon was particularly evident in the “l’Oncle” parcel situated in Les Bessards (young vines) which was harvested on the 16th of September at optimum ripeness levels and with a potential alcohol level of 14.3°. Overall, this intensely coloured vintage is smooth, elegant and well-balanced, reminiscent of the 2006 and 2011 vintages.
The colour is a deep, dark ruby red and the nose is clearly marked by delicate aromas of cassis and spices. On the palate, the “François de Tournon” cuvée shows a smooth and voluptuous texture with a fine and silky tannic structure that gives the wine great potential for ageing.
Fine meats, spicy stews, grilled meat, game, any kind of cheese.