Built during the 13th Century, Château de la Selve is a fortified house, sitting on the ancient frontier between the Empire and the Kingdom of France. It was once a logis du chasse for the Dukes of Joyeuse but, over the centuries, hunting evolved into farming. Located on the banks of the Chassezac, the main tributary of the Ardèche, it enjoys a unique and protected position. Since 1990, this magnificent property has been in the hands of Jean-Régis and Magdeleine Chazallon.
The cellar was constructed in 2002, part of which was converted from an old bergerie. Today, there are a total of 40-hectares in production, planted to six different varieties. Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier intermingle with the indigenous herb sand plants of the surrounding garrigue. Naturally low yields limit the production to around 38hl/ha. The untamed landscape, rare clay and calcareous soils, combined with hot summer days and cool nights (there is a diurnal range here of 15-20 degrees) offer a unique environment in which to work and make wine. Whilst the vineyards lie an altitude of 115 metres, there is no influence of the mistral.
The resulting wines retain a style that is reminiscent of Burgundy. Not surprising when one learns that the climate delivers the same level of acidity as found in Chablis.
All the vineyards have been certified organic since 2008. The conversion to biodynamic principles started one year later.
Along with Benoît and his wife, Florence, there are a team of seven full-time workers on the farm, growing to a dozen for half the year.
There is a core of eight wines produced, over two separate ranges. Equal amounts of red and rosé wines are produced, with just 20% of Viognier, planted for the white wines.
CHÂTEAU DE LA SELVE
REGION OF PRODUCTION
Merlot, Grenache, Cabernet-sauvignon, Cinsault, Syrah, Viognier
AGE OF VINES
BEHIND THE WINES