La Vrille et le Papillon Caprice du Chameau 2019/20

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

Savoury, textured Viognier from the windswept Western Rhône. A warm gold in the glass, there is ripe, mouth-coating apricot fruit and some prickly spice at its core; a wonderful example of how this grape can be expressed in this part of France. A non-vintage blend - typically, Meryl would make two white cuvées (the other is the popular-but-scarce Z Blanc) but in 2020 the yields of Viognier were so small due to the sadly more common disruptions from hail and frost, that he opted to add the wine from that year back into the tanks from 2019. The wine is direct-pressed and sees an extended time on the lees, which contributes to the salty undertone, with mellow bitters. After this we will likely not see much white wine from this wonderful, understated producer until the yields of the 2022 harvest have come to pass - we suggest enjoying this one while it lasts.

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.