In a land saturated with rose and sun-stroked tourist hordes, it’s may seem difficult to make “serious” wine. But that’s exactly why Domaine du Dragon was a great discovery in Provence—this estate sets itself apart from the pack with world-class wines and winemaking know-how that is leagues above the rest of the region.
Located just outside of Draguignan, a village nestled in the hills in eastern Provence (not far from Cannes), Dragon tends 24 hectares of older vines on a larger, 60-hectare property. The town’s “mascot” is a dragon; hence the name of the domaine.
What is interesting about the terroir here is that it is almost all chalk—very unusual for Provence. The estate’s vines are 40 years old on average, and are terraced into the chalky hillsides. This higher altitude keeps vines cooler despite the persistent Provençal sun, while the chalk-rich terroir gives the estate’s wines impressive cut and mineral freshness.
Our red selection, “Cuvée Saint Michel,” is rich and palate-staining, with enough nervous acidity and fresh fruit to remind one of the precision and grace of classic Bordeaux, with the juicy body and persistence of a top-flight southern Rhône. It blends Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre (depending
on the vintage) aged in a mix of older and new Burgundian barrels for 13
The “Cuvée Prestige” rosé is a blend of Cincault, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache, aged completely in temperature-controlled tanks and with little added sulfur, as to preserve as much of the wine's natural and fresh fruit as possible. It is ideally paired with a traditional Provençal bouillabaisse.