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Domaine des Anges, C˘tes du Ventoux

'The best wines being made in the region' (Robert M. Parker, Wines of the Rh˘ne Valley, Dorling Kindersley)

'All these wines are wrongly priced - but in the consumer's favour' (Matthew Nugent, Evening Herald)

Since Parker made the above comment in The Wine Advocate, Domaine des Anges has been regarded as an estate to watch and take seriously. More...

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Domaine des Anges' former winemaker CiarÓn Rooney was one of the first people we met professionally when we started BRW. He struck us as quiet and intensely serious man (he still is where wine is concerned) but he was new to the job and with both Malcolm Swan and Gay McGuinness (neither of whom could be said to be introverts) present it was difficult for him to do much more than tell us about the wines. Over the years, however, he seems to have warmed to us (despite our being English) and we regularly get together to outdo each other in both wine and cuisine. CiarÓn has a finely-tuned palate which is evident in his wines and he is reassuringly unafraid to embrace modern ideas. The result: some wonderful sun-kissed wines.

Englishman Malcolm Swan purchased the Domaine de Notre Dame des Anges in Mormoiron, Vaucluse in 1973. He took the estate to the top of the appellation, retiring in 1998 when the estate's current owner, Kilkenny man Gay McGuinness, appointed Dubliner CiarÓn Rooney as the estate manager and winemaker.

Originally from Dublin, CiarÓn's family moved to South Africa whilst he was still at school. Almost by accident he studied Oenology and Viticulture at Stellenbosch University and gained experience all over the world prior to his arrival in Mormoiron just in time for the 1998 harvest. 

CiarÓn's CV includes stints at top Bordeaux chÔteaux such as Lafite Rothschild, the Pauillac premier cru classÚ, Rieussec (Sauternes) and ChÔteau du Seuil (Graves) as well as leading  New World estates such as Tim Knappstein Wines and Tyrells in Australia, Kumeu River (New Zealand), Argyle Wines and Cakebread Cellars (USA) and Thelema and Neil Ellis Wines in South Africa. This international background is very much evident in CiarÓn's wines, particularly his top red, Clos de l'Archange, renamed L'Archange from 2000. Recent vintages have been very much in the style of the new oak Gigondas wines that cost upwards of ú20 although L'Archange is more Syrah-rich than most of these.

CiarÓn left Domaine des Anges in 2011, having devoted over 12 years to building up the quality and reputation of the estate's wines. He is now working in ChÔteauneuf-du-Pape and has been replaced in Mormoiron by his former assistant, Florent Chave who is continuing in the same vein and who came to the estate by way of Domaine Brusset. It's a small world!

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ę The Big Red Wine Company, Barton Coach House, The Street, Barton Mills, Suffolk IP28 6AA, UK. Tel +44 (0) 1638 510803

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