La Vrille et le Papillon Z Rouge 2016

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REGION:
Valvignères, Ardèche, France
GRAPES:
Syrah & Merlot
VINEYARD:
Organic
CELLAR:
Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, no additional sulphites

Méryl and Géraldine Crozier established themselves in the village of Valvignères in 2012 after Méryl had cut his teeth making wine in Madiran in the South West and Mâcon in Burgundy. On returning to the family vineyards and eventually taking the reins, on the advice of Gérald Oustric (of Le Mazel, whom we also work with), the Croziers stopped supplying grapes to the local co-op, obtained organic certification, and their 5 hectares of Syrah, Grenache, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Ugni Blanc & Viognier became La Vrille et le Papillon. The Merlot vineyard for their ‘Celle d’en Face’ cuvée good-naturedly references the fact the vines sit directly opposite the co-operative cellars from which they withdrew their fruit. The vines all sit over calcareous limestone and clay soils and enjoy the moderating effect of the mistral wind as it funnels through the valley. In the cellar fermentations occur naturally and nothing is added. The wines are fruit-driven, herbaceous and possess spry aromatic qualities; everything we hope for in wine from this region.

Z Rouge is a blend of roughly 50/50 Syrah and Merlot. The Merlot sees only tank, but the Syrah is fermented and raised in old barrels for 9 months, before being blended into the tank with the Merlot and left for a couple of months until ready to be bottled. The resulting wine balances easy-drinking freshness and depth very well; the dark, herby fruit, balsamic edge to the acidity and hint of cooling menthol all balanced beautifully.