The white Crozes is a blend of Roussanne and Marsanne planted on a mix of glacial alluvial deposits, rolled stones and red clay.
René-Jean Dard and François Ribo started their estate in 1984 in a back street of Tain-l’Hermitage. There was about 1HA from Dard’s family, all the rest was rented or slowly acquired over the years.
Born in the towns that face each other across the Rhône River, Tournon in the Ardèche and Tain-l’Hermitage in the Drôme, Dard and Ribo met in wine school in Beaune in their late teens. They work 7.5HA of vines scattered over 7 villages, with most of their holdings in Crozes-Hermitage, some in St-Joseph and a slice of Hermitage.
In their cellar, part of a large farm building in the hamlet of Blanche-Laine in Mercurol, they craft subtle, unextracted Syrah for immediate enjoyment, and several whites from Roussanne and Marsanne. “What we like is natural wine because it’s alive, wine that does not necessarily have to be kept – just drunk and drunk again.” (François Ribo, quoted in John Livingstone-Learmonth’s The Wines of the Northern Rhône , p.382)
What is different with them is that they view Syrah as a grape giving elegant and pleasant wines, rather than sturdy, big, tannic wines. They want their wines to taste well quickly, not after years of cellaring to dissipate hard tannins. They even make a cuvée called “C’est le Printemps” that is released in the spring following the harvest, almost like a nouveau of Syrah. They tend to vinify by plot, because they have such a wide varieties of terroir and vine ages.
Katie and Denny
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210 E. Vermilion Street, Lafayette, LA 70501
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