Saint-Etienne-du-Grès: Frederic Fourdinier Whitewashes Nature at Le Domaine de Trévallon for Festival a-part

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Whitewash, 2013 by Frederic Fourdinier at the Domaine de Trévallon

The unspoken intent is to interrupt your common vision of what seems to be, compelling your senses to focus, even for a transitory moment, on objects of nature which otherwise you take in sans a fleeting reflection.

Among the parcels of deep green vines and the muted tones of olive trees at the Domaine de Trévallon, your vision of the serene landscape fixes on patches of white paint splashed on tree stumps and dying trees, a few of the 84 such intrusions in an artistic initiative titled “Whitewash” created by Frederic Fourdinier in and around St Rémy de Provence in the Festival a-apart, which is celebrating its fourth season with 50 artists occupying 25 venues in 7 towns and villages.

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Using landscapes and the shapes and forms of nature as inspiration, Frederic Fourdinier fathoms our relationship to the environment through multi-mediums – drawings, installations, photographs and video. His oeuvre also employs performance art: taking a solitary journey by foot for a number of days to survey a wilderness while recording his atmospheric impressions, and collaborating with a chef in arranging and preparing herbs and wild plants – cuisine as art form.

Frederic Fourdinier: Tel: 06 31 94 60 46, Email: frederic.fourdinier@gmail.com, Website

Galerie: ANYSPACE, 59 rue van Eyck, 1050, Bruxelles, Belgium Website

Le Domaine de Trévallon – A Brand Unto Itself

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Signed by “Paul” McCarthy, a fan of Le Domaine de Trévallon

While dining at a tony restaurant, have you ever glanced at a wine label on a nearby table and start to feel a covetous and almost prurient envy as you imagine the rich taste and smooth tannins of a gorgeous drink that is beyond your means? That bottle may be a Domaine de Trévallon, which during the early 1980’s entered into the kingdom of great wines. In effect, Trévallon became a brand unto itself borne of its unique location –- Baux de Provence — and its one-and-only blend in France — 50% Syrah and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon – of supple tannins and modest alcohol (13%).

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In 1993, the Baux de Provence acquired AOC status, yet Trévallon was excluded by a decree that limited the amount of cabernet sauvignon to no more than 20%. There followed a petty gesture: the AOC would include the Domaine if it lowered its percentage of cabernet sauvignon over a 30 year-period. In other words, destroy the brand. The Domaine remains a table wine of the Rhone Valley.

Artistic heritage suffuses the Domaine de Trévallon: the garden sculpture of René Dürrbach and the labels he designed and the geometric designs of the painter Baltasar Dürrbach, the brother of winemaker Eloi. The new labels date from the 1996 vintage. René Dürrbach, a painter and sculptor, was friends with many artists, including Fernand Léger, Robert Delaunay and Pablo Picasso. Eloi Dürrbach asked his father towards the end if his life – he died in 2000 at the age of 89 – to design the Trevallon labels, and he created fifty posters using colored crayons. Each year, one of René’s label designs is chosen by the charactertics of that year’s vintage.

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This is one of the first great wines that is “post-Parker”: no need for validation or analysis by wine writers spouting out vacuous scores. A faithful clientele worldwide assures a demand that exceeds supply of Le Domaine de Trévallon, which ships its cases in air-conditioned containers.

Available this fall at its cave are an intense 2010 red destined for a few years of cellaring, and a melon and apricot scented 2011 white, a blend of predominantly Roussanne and Marsanne with small percentages of Grenache Blanc and Clairette. The winemaker Eloi Dürrbach just sent off several cases of the 2011 white to the New York restaurants of Chef Daniel Boulud.

Domaine de Trévallon: Website, Facebook, For directions to the domaine in Saint-Etienne-du-Grès, consult Website. Call in advance for tasting: 04.90.49.06.00 Photo: Thursday night vernissage at the Domaine’s wine cellar.

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