I believe summer was created for the expressed purpose of savoring wines from Clos Sainte Magdeleine. Picture yourself on a 400 meter high cliff-side, overlooking the Mediterranean’s shimmering turquoise water stretching out before you as a warm, salty breeze caresses your cheek and the sun warms your skin. Below you, locals sunbathe along the majestic limestone bluff. While just behind you are the vines in a picturesque vineyard belonging to this beautiful estate in the coastal town of Cassis.
Importer Kermit Lynch coined the term "Earthly Paradise" to describe the stunning property and crystalline, saline-driven wines of Clos Sainte Magdeleine. Admittedly, I cannot think of a more appropriate phrase to capture the beauty of this place. Given Cassis is France's only appellation to be situated fully inside a national park, Parc National des Calanques, it is no surprise the beauty here astounding. Upon my visit in 2016 and again this past March, I remain enamored by the wine and the good people putting in the work.
The Sack-Zafiropulo family has been producing wine for four generations at their seaside property. Since 2012 under the stewardship of current generation Jonathan Sack, the property has been fully converted to organic viticulture, focusing only on white and rosé wines. The abundant limestone soil and seaside location give the white wines a delicate and mineral taste, often flattered by scents of wild herbs and white flowers and complimented by their signature salty finish. While the rosés are approachable upon release, I have found that they improve with age, just as with top rosé bottlings from Bandol or Corsica.
A recently tasted bottle of 2018 'Marie de Magdala' Rosé, is proof of their ageablity. This 5 year old rosé was fresh and nervy. Loaded with redcurrant, blood orange and underripe strawberry with an awakening mineral core. We have just received an abundance of the stellar 2022 vintage for a multitude of wines from this domaine, as well as the 2021 Bel-Arme.
If you haven't enjoyed a bottle of wine from this earthly paradise, has summer even begun?
40% Grenache, 40% Cinsault, 20% Mourvedre
Cassis Rosé 2022 MAGNUM (1.5L)
Cassis Rosé 2022 JEROBOAM (3L-the only one to come to the New York market.)
'Marie de Magdala,' Bouches-du-Rhône Rosé 2022
100% Grenache, aged on fine lees in sandstone jarres until early summer bottling
'Baume Noire' Vermentino, Bouches-du-Rhône Blanc 2022
100% Vermentino from cuttings at Clos Canarelli in Corsica, raised in sandstone amphorae
'Bel-Arme' Cassis Blanc 2021
Marsanne, Clairette, Ugni Blanc, Bourboulanc, 1ha planted in 1962-1964, fermented with indigenous yeasts in concrete tanks
Back to Cèpage | Wine & Stuff