Dard et Ribo, St-Joseph 'Pitrou' Blanc


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

Saint-Joseph Pitrou Blanc: A blend of Roussanne with a little Marsanne, both grape varieties coming from old vines farmed organically and planted on slopes with decomposed granite soils. Vinified with respect for the grapes, as always with these two vignerons: direct pressing, indigenous yeasts, maturation in 500- and 600-litre demi-muid barrels. Blended in August and bottled in September 2020, without fining or filtration, and zero sulphur.

'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