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Château La Gordonne lunch at Fleming by Le Bilboquet, NYC, NY, USA

Champagne Pommery

by Debra Argen
Julien Fort - photo by Luxury Experience
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Cellar Master Julien Fort

Lovely wines, a sumptuous lunch, and the opportunity to share it with Château La Gordonne’s Cellar Master Julian Fort and Pauline Vranken of Champagne Pommery at Fleming by Le Bilboquet in Manhattan’s Upper East Side was a perfect afternoon of fine dining, wine tasting, and the art of wine conservation. Santé and Bon Appetit! 

Julien Fort & Pauline Vranken - photo by Luxury Experience

Julien Fort & Pauline Vranken

The best way to learn about and better appreciate the nuances of a wine house is to speak with the Cellar Master, and thus when an invitation appeared inviting me to join Château La Gordonne’s Cellar Master Julian Fort and Pauline Vranken of Vranken-Pommery America to discuss the launch of La Trilogie wines, of course I said yes!

The lunch took place on April 4, 2024, at Fleming by Le Bilboquet, a stylish, attractive, and intimately charming Mediterranean restaurant (part of the Le Bilboquet collections of restaurants) located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan at 27 East 62nd Street.

Julien Fort - photo by Luxury Experience

Julien Fort

It was Château La Gordonne’s Cellar Master Julian Fort’s first trip to the United States to promote the wine, with selected stops in Miami and New York for the launch of the La Trilogie: Le Cirque des Grives (rosé), La Semaphore (white wine), and Les Planètes (red wine), which will be released to the public in August 2024. His goal is to help make people aware of what Provence has to offer beyond rosé wine by creating a white and red wine as well. Over the course of the lunch, we would taste a total of five wines, two of their rosés, as well as three wines from their La Trilogie collection.

La Trilogie of Wines - photo by Luxury Experience

La Trilogie

We began by tasting two of their rosés in a side-by-side flight tasting, Château La Gordonne, Côtes de Provence, Tête de Cuvée, Vérité du Terroir, Terroir Remarquable à Pierrefeu-du-Var, 2023, and Chapelle Gordonne, Tête de Cuvée, Côtes de Provence Rosé, 2023. Both 12.5% alcohol, both made from certified organic grapes, both were the same vintage, however the difference was in the terroir and location of the grape vines that set them apart.

The Château La Gordonne rosé had fragrant aromas of white flowers with citrus notes on the finish and what Julien referred to as “one glass has to call another one.” Château La Gordonne has a long history of making exceptional wines dating back to 1652, and it is “one of the flagships of Vranken Estates.” While they have a long history of tradition, they are also passionate about the terroir and sustainability of Provence. In 2021, they became completely organic, and they are always looking to innovative ways to create their wines.

Sommelier - Chateau La Gordonne - photo by Luxury Experience


Tasting the Chapelle Gordon rosé, the difference was fruitier with citrus and floral aromas with fresh berries on the palate for a sweeter finish. Both wines were well crafted, balanced, and delectable and paired well with my first course of Tuna Tartare.

Speaking with Julien Fort, I learned that since 2009 they harvest their grapes by hand, at night, beginning around 9:00 pm and finishing around 7:30 am wearing head lamps. The cooler night temperature brings another element to the richness of their wines and preserves the high quality and freshness of the grapes.

Another distinguishing factor is that they create La Trilogie (Trilogy) collection of wines, not only by hand harvesting the grapes, but by also utilizing sandstone egg shaped vessels that hold 400 liters. Once the grapes are harvested, each “berry” is removed and placed individually in one of the sandstone vessels instead of using barriques where they are vinified. Rather than crush the grapes, they rotate the sandstone vessels which allows the juices to run naturally.

The advantages of using the sandstone vessels are their small volume which allows for a very fine selection. The residual porosity of the sandstone permits a restrained oxygen feed, like what happens in barriques but without an aromatic exchange with the content. The result is a minerality that comes across as a delectable mélange of flavors and aromas.

Pauline Vranken - photo by Luxury Experience

Pauline Vranken

For La Trilogie collection, Julien wanted to create wines that would highlight the terroir and essence of the Provence region and created a rosé wine (Le Cirque des Grives), a white wine (La Semaphore) and a red wine (Les Planètes).

La Trilogie Wines

Le Cirque des Grives, AOC Côtes de Provence, Tête de Cuvée, Rosé, 2021, 12.5% alcohol, made with a blend of Black Grenache and Cinsault grapes. This wine had an excellent finish with citrus notes and a rich creaminess.

La Semaphore, Cuvée Parcellaire, Bio, 2021, 12.5% alcohol, made with 100% Rolle grapes. For this wine, Julien selects grapes from vines that are over 80 years old, resulting in a light, crisp wine.

Les Planètes, Bio, Vintage, 13.5% alcohol, made with a blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The sandstone vessels help this wine achieve a richness of flavor without heavy tannins. This wine is Julian’s “baby” as Madame Vranken (Pauline’s mother) does not like a lot of tannins in her wine and had requested that Julian create one. Made with a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Grenache Noir (Black Grenache), the result is silky, elegant, with a slightly peppery finish that paired especially well with the sweet course of Chocolate Mousse.

The Menu – Fleming by Bilboquet

First Course
Soup Du Jour
Arugula Salad (Crispy Artichoke, Pine Nuts)
Tuna Tartare (Ahi Tuna, Avocado, Soy)

Tuna Tartare - photo by Luxury Experience

Tuna Tartare

Second Course
Cacio e Pepe (Black Pepper & Pecorino Romano)
Faroe Island Salmon (Heirloom Carrots & Hummus)
Cajun Chicken (Beurre Blanc, French Fries)

Salmon - Chateau La Gordonne - photo by Luxury Experience


Sweet Course
Chocolate Mousse
Mixed Berries

Chocolate Mousse - photo by Luxury Experience

Chocolate Mousse

Lunch with Cellar Master Julien Fort and Pauline Vranken was the perfect afternoon of excellence, tasting and learning about the nuances of Château La Gordonne wine, enjoying excellent food, and stimulating wine conservation. Until next time, Santé and Bon Appetit! 

For more information on Château La Gordonne, please visit their website: www.lagordonne.com, or visit their social media pages: www.facebook.com/chateaulagordonne and www.instagram.com/chateaulagordonne.

Château La Gordonne

Château la Gordonne
Route de Cuers
83390 Pierrefeu-du-Var
Telephone: +04-94-33-48-52
Website: www.lagordonne.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/chateaulagordonne
Instagram: www.instagram.com/chateaulagordonne

For more information on Fleming by Le Bilboquet, please visit their website: www.flemingbylebilboquet.com or their Instagram page: www.instagram.com/flemingnewyork.

Fleming by Le Bilboquet

Fleming by Le Bilboquet
27 East 62nd Street (corner of Madison and 62nd Street)
New York, New York 10065
United States
Telephone: +1-332-282-0350
Email: fleming@lebilboquetny.com
Website: www.flemingbylebilboquet.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/flemingnewyork

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