La Vrille et le Papillon
Novemberlot NV

  • Region Valvignères, Ardèche, France
  • Grapes Merlot, Viognier & Ugni Blanc
  • Vineyard Organic
  • Cellar Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, no additional sulphites
  • ABV 13.5%
  • Size 750ml

Quantity

About the Wine

The Croziers always like to experiment with unique cuvées each year, but Novemberlot is a real one-off. Following the freak hailstorm of June 2021, where many of the grapes were lost, inexplicably by November of the same year the white vines had a rarely-seen second budding, producing some small bunches of Viognier and Ugni Blanc. Seen by Meryl and Geraldine as a sort of consolation for the earlier losses, they were harvested and vinified, then blended with the rest of the 2021 Merlot from the first harvest. This in turn had been added to the wine from 2019 that had been resting in tank, making for a truly unique non-vintage special.

With a little more structure than some of their other reds, it is nonetheless ripe with their trademark deep black fruits, herbs and spices. The tannins have a powdery quality, framing some dark plummy fruits, flecked with bitter liquorice and fennel. 

The 2019 Merlot came from a very hot vintage, was destemmed and macerated for 4 days before ageing in steel. The 2021 Merlot was also destemmed and macerated for just 2 days before being pressed off and, due to the tiny yields of that hail-wrecked vintage, was blended into the same tank. The second budding of the white grapes was harvested in November 2021 and given a slow manual press into steel, before completing the blend in spring 2022, the idea being to bring some fresh acidity and aromatic lift. The finished wine was eventually bottled in October 2022.

About La Vrille et le Papillon

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, the Croziers stopped supplying grapes to the local co-op, obtained organic certification, and their 5 beautifully verdant hectares of Syrah, Grenache, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Ugni Blanc & Viognier became La Vrille et le Papillon. The vines all sit over rocky 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 Croziers are fans of experimentation and, in addition to a regular set of cuvées, each vintage often throws up a list of exciting debut wines too. They have even encouraged their young son, Achille, to get involved. His his own wine, Canon d’Achille, was an out-and-out hit the two years he made it - not bad for a 14 year-old! As well as being keen to try new things, in recent times this has often been ingenuity born from the various climactic struggles they have faced, as unseasonal frost and hail has caused severe losses for the family, as it has for many others. Alongside their Ardèchoise varietals, Méryl has also planted some hybrid vines, curious to see what potential they may hold in the future. Whatever the means, La Vrille et le Papillon wines are always fruit-driven, herbaceous and possess spry aromatic qualities; everything we love in wine from this region.

Find out more about La Vrille et le Papillon

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