This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for White Regional France under £15 went to Château Romanin, IGP Alpilles 2013 (13%)

Tasted against:

  • Château Jolys, Cuvée Pauline, Jurançon Sec 2013


Romanin is a 250-hectare estate, home to vines, olive trees and the remains of a 13th-century castle that belonged to the Knights Templar.

Since the first vines were planted in 1988, Romanin has been run on biodynamic principles. The land is buffeted and swept clean by the Mistral wind, and the clay and limestone soil is porous, rocky and impervious to moisture, which can be harmful to biodynamic methods.

Anne-Marie and Jean-Louis Charmolüe, former owners of Château Montrose in Bordeaux’s St-Estèphe, bought the estate in 2006 and in 2013 they hired Franck Breau as director. Breau previously worked for Champagne Pommery, baron Philippe de Rothschild and Alain Brumont.

This Trophy-winner is a blend of 85% Rolle and 15% Roussanne. The former, a late-ripening grape that needs plenty of sun, is perfectly suited to the climate and soil of Romanin’s land on the north side of the Alpilles, and brings ‘beautiful depth and acidity’, while the deep, calcareous soils of the region give the wine freshness and delicacy. Meanwhile, 2013 was the first year Romanin harvested any Roussanne, which adds complexity and elegance to the final wine.

All the grapes are handpicked then sorted, before being blended in the spring following harvest in Romanin’s arresting cellar, designed to evoke a Gothic cathedral.

Written by Decanter