2014 Les Deux Terres Vin de Pays de l’Ardeche Silene
Region: Ardèche < Rhône Valley < France
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: organic farming; granite soil; fermented in concrete; no SO2 or additives of any kind; aged 8 months neutral oak.
Winemaker: Vincent Fargier and Manu Cunin
Domaine les Deux Terres is the project of two buddies and neighboring winegrowers, Vincent and Manu, who decided to stop individually selling their grapes to the co-op and start making their own wine together – thus the name, Les Deux Terres which means ’the two lands’. Inspired by their natural winemaker neighbors like Le Mazel, Calek, and Azzoni, Deux Terres, their mission was to make wine with very low interventions and maximum respect of the fruit. When asked how merlot landed in this part of the Rhône, Manu says that 20+ years ago single-variety wines were trendy here, and here in Lussas where he rents vineyards, they went beserk and uprooted their native carignan, cinsault and old grenache to replant almost 60% in merlot. Hard to believe that growers with experience would destroy locally-adapted varieties to import international ones, but that’s what happened all over the world in those dark Parker points-driven days of the late 80’s. After years making awful reds with these then-young merlot vines they (the co-op, actually) began to make cheap rosé with the merlot vines. Finally, nearly 30 years later and with the benefit of organic, chemical-free farming, these older Merlot vines are now producing quality fruit the the Duex Terre boys can coax into a terrific wine. It’s juicy, spicy, earthy with spicy red fruit.