Château Mourgues du Grès sits on top of the Costieres, which despite the plural is a single long, low bluff that stretches east-west for miles, just south of the city of Nîmes .This is where the vines for the Galets wines are grown: Grenache blanc and vermentino for the whites; syrah and Grenache for the reds. Standing on the edge of the hill (where I took the accompanying snapshot), you can look south across the Plein du Boucade and see the Camargue, southwest and see the Baux de Provence. The air is filled with the scent of wild fennel, thyme, rosemary, and sweet mint.
The soil (shown at left) is unmistakably Rhone-like: a sea of large pebbles and marl that goes down as much as 7 meters. Small oak trees—bushes, really—grow beneath a line of cypress trees. François Collard says the reason he loves the ’07 vintage so much is because he can taste the sap of the garrigue in it. Anne and François Collard were exceptionally generous hosts, and I'll have more on the visit, including tasting notes, when I'm a little less jet-lagged.