Andrew Guard

2015 Côtes du Rhône Rouge 'L'Ombre de Figuier', Clos des Grillons

This wine is to Grenache what the Vieux Sage is to Syrah; again from old vines and fermented and aged in Tronconic vat. It is incredibly attractive, very pure, silken, succulent and graceful. These are not words one usually uses to describe Grenache! I suppose the thing that I like about it most is it's incredible balance and finesse.

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.