Les Clefs du Caladas (Château Simian), Côtes du Rhône, Rhône Valley, France 2020
The “birth” of Chateau Simian in the early 20th century sounds almost like a fairytale – the one where fate bestows fortune upon a common person in reward for their loyal services. This is exactly what happened to Marcelle Laudret, a young woman who had worked for years for Sophie Simian, the owner of a country house and several neighboring vineyards. When Madame Simian died in 1920 without any direct family to pass the property on to, her will designated Marcelle as the heir, and Marcelle’s descendants have owned the property ever since.
And not just owned: throughout the years, the size of the estate has increased through both purchases and marriages, as Marcelle’s daughter Madeleine married Yves Serguier, a grower from the nearby Chateauneuf du Pape, thus adding some respectably old vines to the portfolio. These Grenaches, which were planted in 1880, are still yielding some precious grapes used in the estate’s top red cuvée; and Madeleine’s and Yves’ son Jean-Pierre, born in 1957, is still leading the estate today.