In 1986, brothers Christophe and Fabrice Delorme, along with their father Francis, decided to dedicate themselves to their passion for wine. They bought an estate in Tavel with the goal of producing the greatest wines in each appellation while preserving the environment. Within a decade, they had achieved that goal, and continued getting better and better each year. Domaine de la Mordorée produces some of our best wines, and they have selected and maintained some of the finest terroirs. Their Châteauneuf-du-Papes, Lirac Reds & Whites, and Tavel Rosés are among the most highly rated of the region.
Unfortunately, in 2015, the remarkably talented Christophe passed away at the age of 52. Christophe was highly respected and regarded by Fran Kysela, and they enjoyed a wonderful business partnership for 21 year. He was also highly regarded by Robert Parker Jr. of The Wine Advocate, who pinned Mordorée as "one of the world’s greatest wine estates". In a 2007 issue of the Wine Advocate, Parker said:
"With 135 acres spread throughout some of the most impressive appellations of the southern Rhône, Christophe Delorme and his brother...have done nothing but produce one exquisite wine after another. Of course, the top cuvees of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are rare and expensive, but this is a place to find terrific Cotes du Rhones and Liracs as well. Delorme is equally adept at dry whites as well as reds, and turns out some stunning roses both under the Cotes du Rhône and Tavel appellations..."
Christophe’s legacy and his talent live on through his daughter Ambre, as well as a talented team at Domaine de la Mordoree that includes winemaker Rémy Chauvet, who worked as Christophe’s cellar manager. Jeb Dunnuck praised the estate for the quality of their first vintage without Christophe, saying the Domaine was “obviously still in incredibly capable hands.”
Mordorée’s vineyards consist of 55 hectares (135 acres) on 38 different parcels, containing a rich, wide range of soils and climates. The soil is a mix of clay, chalk and sand with pebble stones. The vines are trained according to two methods:
- Goblet training is used for older, untrellised vineyards, with the canopy remaining free. This traditional pruning method provides better resistance to wind and drought, and lesser sensitivity to trunk diseases, which can kill the vines.
- Cordon de Royat training is used for newer, trellised vineyards. This newer training method allows for higher vines, leaving a larger leaf surface exposed to the sun, which yield colorful grapes that are richer in tannins and in sugar. Exposure to sunlight also produces healthier grapes and allows a greater development of aromas.
Mordorée’s plantings are in Tavel, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Lirac, Cotes-du-Rhone & Condrieu:
- TAVEL - Domaine de la Mordorée's vineyards are located on the Vallongue plateau, in the villages of Palai, Roquanaute and Romagnac. They are planted with 60% Black Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, Syrah and Cinsault, 5% Bourboulenc and White Clairette.
- CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE - vineyards are located in the villages of La Crau, la Nerthe, Cabrières, Le Bois de la Ville. They are planted with 70% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, 5% Cinsault, 5% Counoise, 5% Syrah, 5% Vaccarese.
- LIRAC - vineyards are located mainly in the plateaus of Lirac and Tavel, Les Baumes, as well as an area called Les Châtaigniers, meaning the chestnut trees, which are quite unusual in those areas.
- COTES-DU-RHONE - soils are made up mainly of pebbles, clay, stones, broken-stone deposits.
- CONDRIEU - vineyards lie on the eastern slopes of the Massif Central. The appellation is named after the commune of Condrieu, meaning a corner (coin) of land where two streams meet (rieu, akin to the Spanish rio). The vineyards produce only Viognier.
Mordorée follows the culture raisonnée method, intervening in the vineyard only when necessary. The yield is reduced in the vineyard by ébourgeonnage (de-budding in spring) and vendanges vertes in summer (green harvesting). The top wines are aged in special oak barrels like jupille for 10 months. No expense is spared at this domaine to achieve quality.