Pierre André was among the first to embrace the importance of organic viticulture back in 1963 and had fully converted his 18 hectares by 1980. The domaine is now run by daughter Jacqueline, who has been practicing biodynamically since 1992. The vines of the estate, consisting of the 13 allowed in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, are very old indeed: 70 years on average, with some parcels dating back more than 130 years. The diverse terroir includes parcels of quartzite, clay, sand and limestone. Grapes are harvested by hand, vigorously gleaned, then spend 18-20 months in cement vats and old oak casks.
When many producers of the appellation will see, for example, their 2011 vintage already well established upon the shelves of shops, Jacqueline will be bottling her 2010.
The red wines of the Domaine Pierre André exude all the anticipated strength of a Châteauneuf-du-Pape, yet are enhanced by the grace of a deft feminine hand. Rough edges are polished and spice is tempered by soft fruit. My young daughter has already been forewarned that she is forbidden from opening her birth-year magnums without my presence.
The whites are the southern summer sun drawn in broad strokes, then bottled.