2014 Les Deplaudes De Tartaras ‘Le Chanse’

2014 Les Deplaudes De Tartaras ‘Le Chanse’

Regular price $21

Price: $21

Region: IGP Collines Rhodaniennes < Rhone Valley < France
Grapes: Syrah
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic Certified (Ecocert), biodynamic practices; schist and clay soils; 11 months elevage in neutral large barrel; bottled unfined/unfiltered with tiny amount of SO2; 12% ABV
Winemaker: Pierre-Andre Deplaude

Pierre-Andre is a farmer, tending cows, flowers, grains and fruit on his family farm in the Northern Rhone Valley, and, since 2003, 3.5 hectares of grapes. It’s a healthy, well-rounded ecosystem: the cows provide compost for the vines, the flowers and fruit trees attract the bees that pollinate the cover crops that ensure nitrogen balance in the vineyards soil. In 2008, he began using biodynamic practices, going beyond cultivation without chemicals to relying solely on natural, homeopathic treatments in the vineyards and working according to the lunar calendar. He says, “It clicked for me after several visits in Burgundy and Champagne. There, soil quality is notoriously bad, but I saw that with biodynamic vineyards, even those that were very steep, the soils are more alive and better absorb water.” The farm is on the high-altitude plateaus of the Collines Rhodaniennes, across the river from the famous cru Côte-Rôtie. Here Pierre-Andre works in a very old-school style, somehow coaxing out incredible aromatics, elegance and textural complexity from his humble wines.  You get pretty blackberry and violets against a backdrop of granite minerals and soft brambly tannins, with a refreshing lightness and earthy intensity. And while you get the meaty, smoky notes typical of Syrah, it has enough acidity to work with veg dishes or to enjoy on its own. Not a one-trick pony, this one…