Andrew Guard

2016 Côtes du Rhône Rouge 'Grillons', Clos des Grillons

The Côtes du Rhône Rouge 'Grillons' (Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvedre) is a vividly bright, translucent wine that beams the colour of ripe cherries. In the mouth it caresses with stony, gently spicy fruit and a featherweight texture. It breaths up beautifully in the glass to display floral and mineral tones and has a lovely fresh and lively finish.

Nicolas Renaud is a talented winemaker introduced to me by Eric Pfifferling of Domaine L'Anglore. Recommen-dations don't get any better than that!
Nicolas used to be a history teacher at the local university until his passion for wine saw him rent a very old par-cel of vines near Rochfort du Gard, to the West of Tavel and in AOC Côtes du Rhône. Nicolas formally quit the teaching sector in 2005. At that time he went to work for 2 years at the Vieille Julienne in Châteauneuf du Pâpe, both in the vineyards and in the cellar, to better the knowledge that he had already accumulated by meeting winemakers and vignerons throughout his region. All the while, he took his first vineyards 'en fermage' in 2006, in Rochefort and also near Uzes. Typically, he would prune 8 or 9 hours at la Vielle Julienne and then do it again on his own vines in the evening!

His style is unsurprisingly like that of his friend Eric Pfifferling with perhaps more bass. All the wines are perfumed, lively, elegant and extremely vibrant, in short - bursting with personality, vitality and life.