Terre des Chardons Bien Lune 2016

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Terre des Chardons Bien Lune 2016
  • The 9 hectares of vineyards surround the property, along with fruit and olive trees. The soil consists of the same sort of siliceous rocks that are the hallmark of the Costières de Nimes region (locally called gress, see next paragraph for details), and of course, Chateauneuf du Pape, a few kilometers up-river, while vines are trained on wire trellises, to facilitate good air circulation. No chemicals are used in the vineyards, the only regular treatments being completely natural herbal and biodynamic sprays and soil treatments, plus shallow tilling to keep weeds to a manageable level (with a flock of sheep doing their bit for the cause through the winter!). 
  • Locally called gress, the stones in the soil regulate its temperature and allow for proper drainage, ensuring equal maturity levels for the grapes. They also force the vine roots to plunge down further into the bedrock in the search for water, giving a unique minerality to the resulting wines. The regional mistral wind aerates the grape clusters and reduces the risk of vine disease.

  • Similarly, no chemicals are used in the winery, save of course for a little SO2 at the fermentation and bottling stages. The grapes are de-stemmed and some parcels fermented traditionally, while others go through a sort of semi-carbonic maceration, depending on the style required for each parcel. Fermentation is entirely reliant on the naturally-occurring indigenous yeasts. Picking, racking, and bottling is all carried out per the phases of the moon.
  • Importantly, the wines are all aged in vat - the only oak barrels in sight are old and purely ornamental. Which - biodynamic practices aside - is one of the main reasons why the wines all taste so alive and "un-mucked-about-with." Indeed, the reds are a real eye-opener and re-define what is possible in this little corner of south-east Languedoc. They set a new benchmark for the Costières de Nimes appellation. 
  • 50% Grenache, 50% Syrah
  • Note: Depending on the vintage, the percentages of Syrah and Grenache in this cuvée are subject to change. In 2015, it was 20% Syrah, 80% Grenache.