Very small allocation - only 1 bottle per customer”
All this buzz about natural wines seems quite funny to us since we have been making wines like this for nearly three decades. We simply continued the environmental-friendly way my father had adopted – avoiding chemical stuff on the vines and adding only a tiny amount of sulphur upon bottling. And instead of tailoring our wines for current palates, we just want to make wines we like ourselves, wines that would be pleasant to drink without years of cellaring so typical for many wines of our region”. René-Jean Dard
Crozes-Hermitage Blanc: Roussanne and Marsanne planted in 1986 on red clay, stony soils with some granite. Native yeasts, aged in a mix of 228l and 600l oak casks for 12 months.
'René Jean Dard and François Ribo have acquired a cult following amongst those who frequent the natural wine bars of France and they are also revered in Japan, the second home of great low sulphur wines.
Their 7.5 vineyard holding is split around seven villages on a variety of terroirs comprising different soil types. The winery is located near Mercurol (a short distance east of Tain l’Hermitage). They use two types of pruning, goblet and tie-up, depending of the slope and other terrain conditions and practise organic viticulture.
The two reds share a common purity of fruit. The Crozes, from red clay soils with gravel and alluvial stones, is almost salty with notes of violets, olives, dill, blackberry and leather, whilst the Saint-Joseph, from vines on decomposed granitic soils, is round and smoky.
“What we like is natural wine because it’s alive, wine that does not necessarily have to be kept – just drunk and drunk again”. These wines remind me of Kafka’s advice to start with what is right rather than what is acceptable.' Doug Wregg