Welcome the wines of Patrick Lesec!

Patrick Lesec (in red), the mad professor

Patrick Lesec (in red), the mad professor

Provence can be a spooky and unfriendly place in the winter. Winding around on narrow tree-lined roads, over treacherous bridges and aqueducts, dodging the debris kicked up by the   notorious mistral winds, its hardly the sunny place depicted by   Peter Mayle.  It was dark by the time I arrived at the manor house of Patrick Lesec. Chateau de la Barge, at the end of the muddy rutted road,  huge wooden doors dimly lit, reminiscent of Young Frankenstein, he is waving a flashlight through a swirl of leaves, lavender and maybe an occasional poodle.

I’m quickly brought into the warmth of this medieval kitchen, he tours me through his blending laboratory strewn with bottles, beakers, and tubes.  This is the workplace of a wine mad scientist. We take a seat at a paisley patterned  kitchen table to taste wines. Patrick pours the wine, his Robin Williams face is expressionless. Another wine buyer, another tasting. I ask him if this wine comes from the “arriere” of Beaumes de Venise.  His face brightens, he smiles, he pours another wine, sits back, folds his arms, and says “how about this one?”   He seems happy that he’s now got game.

The wines of Patric Lesec  are natural, true-to-type, and are excellent values. They are in fact all estate-bottled wines, vinified in the cellars of the properties that Patrick Lesec has contracted to work with.

Patrick makes great efforts to search out the finest terroirs, the best soils with old vineyards – and thus the finest sources of grapes – in each appellation. These are often growers who own parcels of the best sites, but who may not bottle wine under their own label. Historically, these growers have sold their production to negociants who blend and market their own cuvees.

lesec1Once Patrick has located and made agreements with these growers, he works closely with them to produce the highest quality possible using his principles of non-interventionist winemaking. First, he tastes through all the barrels and tanks and makes a strict selection of components he wishes to blend into his final cuvee. The variables in this process include different grape varieties, different vineyard sites, and even different lots of the same wines (since each tank or barrel has its own unique character).

Once the lots have been selected for the final blend, Patrick specifies how he wants the élevage done. Some lots will be kept in tank to preserve the freshness of their fruit; others will be aged in barrels to add richness, texture and complexity. He continues to visit the cellars and taste the lots to monitor their progress. Adjustments are made, as necessary or desirable.

Patrick’s cuvées are usually treated with as little sulphur as possible. The wines are not fined or filtered, and are hand-bottled where possible.

Patrick’s cuvées of Châteauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, Cairanne, Rasteau and Vacqueyras clearly reflect the style of their respective appellations and terroirs. They have in common lovely aromatics, a distinctive purity of fruit flavors, soft, round tannins and long, pleasant finishes. His cuvées are fresh, natural and vibrant. They generally represent great values.

World Class Wines is proud to be the distributor of the Patrick Lesec selections for the state of Minnesota!