Having started in 1984 with just one inherited vineyard hectare in the heart of the Saint-Joseph appellation, the production of this now 8.5 hectare estate is still tiny. After befriending each other during their wine studies, René-Jean and François were among the first Northern Rhône winemakers who intervened as little as possible in grape growing and winemaking, in a time when ’natural’ hardly existed as a term.
René-Jean Dard says that they're not looking to make great wines, their focus is to make wines that let themselves drink well, there's a Japanese word for that, he adds : Nomiyasui, which could be translated as drinkability, the ability to be drunk with ease and pleasure. Wine is not made for tasting, he says, it's made to be swallowed and fully enjoyed.
There is no unecessary intervention in the vineyard or the winery - they use natural yeasts and still trample about 10% of the grapes by foot as this helps to start the fermentation. The wine can spend up to 20 days in the open topped wooden fermentation vats but this varies as each wine is tasted every morning to assess it's development. The wine then spends time on the fine lees before bottling.
Pure Roussane that manages to be both rich, creamy with golden honey notes and racey and mineraly at the same time. A real treat. The vineyard is organic and the wine is made with no added sulphur.