The organically farmed grapes are harvested by hand and destemmed. Fermentation commences with wild yeasts in wooden vats in Chateau Simone's 16th-century cellars. The wines then spend time in small foudres before resting in old barrels for a year. The whites are mainly Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Ugni Blanc, Muscat Blanc, Bourboulenc, Picpoul, Furmint, and Sémillon. The red and rosé are predominantly Grenache, Mourvèdre, with an array of additional mixed varieties including Cinsault, Carignan, Cabernet, Manosquin, Castet, Théoulier, Picpoul Noir, and Muscat de Hambourg per their importer.
The wines are excellent across the board and all particularly age-worthy. In its youth, the red boasts a dark robe, plummy and wild berry aromas, with alpine forest notes intermingling with the fruit; the tannins are firm (never coarse), and there's a fine-grained mineral core within. With age, resinous hints of bracken emerge to highlight the maturing fruit. And for the quality of the red, the whites and rosé are considered by many to be better still. The rosé is a burnished coppery hue with a circumspect nose upon release, which unfurls with age to reveal wild berry, garrigue, balsam, fine texture, and sapid soil notes. The white is a wine of which we are especially enamored. While delicious with a decant in its youth, it seems to age effortlessly, gaining a complexity not unlike mature white Bordeaux, Hunter Valley Sémillon, or Valentini Trebbiano. Lemon oil, beeswax, rosemary, and bitter honey emerge after years in the cellar, with ten and twenty-year-old bottles still showing great freshness and verve. A wine for the table, perhaps paired with turbot or braised rabbit and aged cheeses.