Great Farming, Great Wines: Christian Ducroux in Regnié!

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Chambers Street is very proud to be working with Christian Ducroux, whose vineyard work is certainly among the finest in the world. His 4 hectares in Thulon, in the hills above Regnié, have been organically farmed since the 1980s and are Demeter certified Biodynamic. (The estate was originally 7-plus hectares, but Christian reduced it to 4, in order to more properly manage it himself) He has trees between every five rows of vines, with hedges on the sides and a wild proliferation of vegetation between the vines which is controlled by horse-drawn "griffages" ("scratching" or very shallow plowing). The vineyard is almost entirely self-sufficient, with horse and bull-power and natural fertilizers made on the farm. Rot and mildew are controlled by natural sprays, as Christian seeks to reduce or eliminate the use of the permitted organic sulfur and copper solutions. Even in mid-winter, a walk through his vines shows the benefits of a living soil, moist and teeming with life, unaffected by the erosion and sickness of the vineyards around him.

And the wines are sensational.

Light in body and low in alcohol (ranging from 10.5 to 12%), the wines are aromatically complex and alive, showing berry, plum and black fruit aromas with citrus, licorice, and herbal notes. While there is some relation to the wines of Lapierre and friends in Morgon, Ducroux' wines are consistently brighter and lighter with more changeable aromas, with more acidity and citrus character. And while they don't seem built to age, the Prologue and Esquisse Rosé will certainly drink well for a couple of years and the Regnié for five years or more. Working entirely without sulfur-dioxide, except in problematic vintages, Christian does a small early picking, choosing high acid grapes, which starts the fermentation. A few days later, the mature harvest is added to the vat. This helps to minimize the growth of the acid intolerant Brettanomyces and other schizo-yeasts. There is a roughly one week carbonic maceration followed by a soft pressing, with juice from a second press going into the Patience cuvée. Christian's ethic of farming and winemaking is reflected in his prices, as the health of his family, his animals and his soil, and of course the quality of his wines, are more important to him than financial gain.  Thus the low cost of his wines bears no relation to their quality or the amount of work required for their production. Christian is a modern "paysan" whose work may seem unrealistic, and yet he points the way towards a more sane agriculture which can be adapted to a larger scale. (72 bottles only of Esquisse for the US, 3 bottles per person maximum, please.)  

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Ducroux 2011 Vin de France Esquisse Rose (3 btl max)

From a small high-altitude parcel above Thulon. This is the first time Christian has produced his rose entirely without added sulfur. Beautiful pale orange-pink color, subtle aromas of red currant, citrus, peach and white pepper. Intense material and earthy acidity on the palate. This needs time to open, probably best this fall or even next summer. A beautiful, intense and fascinating wine...

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
  • 0 in stock
  • $12.99

Ducroux 2011 Vin de France Prologue

A gorgeous wine and a beautiful expression of the love and care with which Christian tends his 4 hectares, high up in the hills above Regnie-Durette. The initial aromas are of crushed raspberry and strawberry, mingled with bright blood orange and citrus. Darker fruits and smoky earth emerge later. The palate is smooth with black fruits and there is lush lemony acidity giving a refreshing lift. A bit rounder than the 2010 and a bit higher in alcohol at 11%, it remains a light and joyful wine that will brighten any occasion and accompany cheeses, poultry and lighter meats. Although this wine is a "nouveau" it should drink beautifully over the next 6 to 12 months. Serve very cool. No added sulfur.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $13.99