The Ardeche is a lesser known wine region in France although, with its location next to the Rhone Valley, it has plenty of potential. With mountains, valleys and forests, the Ardeche is a little cooler than the Rhone which helps to create more elegant and user-friendly wines, generally for early drinking. It is also a sun-drenched region which combined with altitude creates fruity but fresh wines. This has seen the likes of famous names such as Louis Latour take an interest in the region. The Les Terrasses wines, including a rose, white and red blend, are made with fruit from a co-operative of local growers to showcase the potential of the region.
Les Terrasses d’Ardèche Sauvignon Grenache 2019
90 Points – $15
It’s an unusual blend of sauvignon blanc and grenache blanc but there is plenty of experimentation now in the South of France and this one works well. Pale in colour, it shows instantly attractive exotic fruits – guava, honeysuckle and lemon with a slight herbal edge. Grenache blanc takes over on the palate to give quite a generous and rounded mouthfeel with good length driven by chalky acidity. Drink it up with a melon and prosciutto salad.
Les Terrasses d’Ardèche Merlot Syrah 2019
90 Points – $15
Merlot and syrah come together in this wine to create a good bistro red. It’s fleshy and bright with layers of dark berry fruits plus nice little touches of violets and spice. It’s then soft and supple with delicate tannins providing enough backbone to make it a perfect lunch wine.
Vignerons Ardéchois Buis d’Aps Pinot Noir 2018
92 Points – $25
This is not your typically elegant and subtle pinot noir – it is a bold and richer style showcasing its Southern French origins. Mid cherry in colour, there are strong pinot aromas of dark and red cherry plus mushroom, spice and a dusting of old oak. It’s then dry, spicy and mid weight. There’s also a distinct earthy funk to the fruit which is concentrated and also underpinned by significant tannins for pinot noir. It’s a hearty pinot style and has the power and weight to suggest it will be at its best with food, particularly classic French dishes such as coq au vin.