LVT 2016 r Sound vin de pays de l'Ardèche from Châteaubourg
LVT 2008 r Rustic, hidden away in the area near Montélimar
LVT 2017 r 2017 wh 2018 rosé Young couple who worked at the well-known Domaine de l’Arlot at Nuits-Saint-Georges in Burgundy from 1998 to 2011. Both Olivier and Florence are agricultural engineers, Olivier an oenologue; they met during their studies. Their holiday house in the Ardèche permitted them to get to know the region, and in 2010 they bought an old vineyard from a Co-operateur who had stopped using weedkillers on his 18.5 hectares of terraced limestone-clay vines that stand between 80 and 180 metres on the hill immediately to the north of the galet stone soils of Mas Libian at St Marcel d’Ardèche. Officially organic since 2014 and biodynamic since 2015. These are two people who know exactly what they are doing.
The range is now all Vin de France [until 2018 it was occasionally IGP Ardèche]. Harvesting is by hand in small boxes at early dates, with refrigerated lorries to transport the harvest, natural yeasts, often 40-80% whole bunches, juice run off the press by gravity, low SO2 use here - 15-35 mg per wine. There are now 21.5 hectares. The name Accoles is Occitan for Terraces. The range is interesting and successful; I really rate the whites. ***(*) wines are present, and with one ****, the 2015 Miocène red [75% Gren, 25% Carignan]. I would highlight their work with the Carignan, serving elegant, tender styling from their 1960s vineyards, the fruits of their experiences in Burgundy. There is a rare 2,200 bottle white made from Carignan gris, called L’Inattendu [the unexpected], the 2015 ****, also a white called Recto Verso, 90% Grenache noir fermented as a white wine, the 2017 a **** wine. All wines also come in magnum versions.
LVT 2008 r Good, authentic old Ardèche Gamay, faithful to its locality. Cleanly made wines, also Syrah, Cab etc. Viognier for white.
LVT 2018 wh 2018 r A name to note. Simon was a chef in the Lyon region, his parents restaurateurs there. He was a chum of Jean-Baptiste Chol, son of Didier Chol, and would go there to work in the vineyards, which he regarded as a holiday. He tired of kitchen pressures, then worked for seven years chez André Perret, mostly in the vineyard, planting on Chanson included.
He left André in January 2018, having started his own wine adventure in 2016, with 1,000 bottles. 2017 was 5,000 bottles, 2018 20,000 bottles. He has an old stone cellar in his tiny hamlet called Touche Boeuf.
He rents Collines Rhodaniennes vineyards that include the plain by the Rhône and the heights above Chavanay at 400+ metres. Simon’s approach is hands-off, low intervention – the cap is submerged, stems included, and used oak raises his mainly Syrah L’Enclume red. Yeasts are wild, and low SO2 is employed.
The L’Effrontée white is 60% Viognier, 30% Marsanne, 10% Roussanne and Cugnette, and the 2018 was a great success, floral, interesting, a **** wine where the Viognier’s generosity was well controlled. Prices are relatively high for Collines Rhodaniennes, but they are definitely hand made and of interest. Simon in 2020 is set to sign for 0.06 ha of Saint-Joseph at Charnas.
LVT 2009 r Young couple, active bloggers, making vin de table from Côtes du Rhône vineyards. Matt is Cisco Systems, Amy is ex-Kermit Lynch. Slowly improving wines. Low sulphur, organic. A white from Roussanne and Clairette has been added.
LVT 2017 r 2018 wh 2018 rosé All wines are IGP Ardèche, except for a pure Viognier Vin de France. This is an organic 25 hectare domaine, where the family worked within the Co-operative of Valvignères until 1981, when they started to vinify. Before that, they worked en polyculture – with cereal and fruit also. They have been organic since 2009, officially so since 2012. Some wines are zero added SO2, according to vintage. The range encompasses 12 wines, whose trademark is very good purity and clarity, befitting of the clay-limestone Ardèche soils and elevation. Sébastien does the vinification, his cousin Denis is on the commerce. One-third of the vineyard is 40 years or older. I prefer the unadorned concrete vat raised reds, with the Carignan very good, over the oak raised ones. A name that is recommended.