Marcel Richaud Primeur Côtes du Rhône

Marcel Richaud Primeur Côtes du Rhône

$ 18

If You've Heard Of Cairanne, One Of The Best Terroirs In The Vast Côtes-du-rhône-villages Appellation, It's Probably Because Of Marcel Richaud. 


Richaud Comes From A Vine Growing Family Who'd Historically And Prosperously Sold Grapes To The Local Cave Cooperative. So It Came As A Shock When Marcel, Only 17 At The Time, Told His Father He Wanted To Become A "Vigneron Indépendant". To His Senior, This Was Incomprehensible And Felt Very Risky: Nothing To Gain, More Work And Less Pay. Undeterred, Marcel Started With 14 Hectares Of His Aunt's Vines, Producing His First Vintage At 19 Years Old In A Dilapidated Cellar With No Roof. He Quickly Made A Name For Himself In The Nascent Parisian Natural Wine Scene Of The Early 1990's And Eventually Began Incorporating His Father's Cooperative Vines Into His Eponymous Production. 


Today, Marcel Is Retired And The Estate Is Run By His Children Thomas, Claire And Edith. The Estate Has Grown To A Sizeable 80 Hectares Over The Years, A Combination Of Marcel Progressively Recouping Family Vineyards From The Cooperative And Purchasing Land; About 40 Hectares Come From The Family And The Other 40 Have Been Purchased Or Planted Since The 1980's. 


Less Grenache Vines Are Planted Than Most Estates In The Area, Just 25% Of What Is Grown And The Same Amount Of Syrah And Mourvèdre. The Remainder Of The Estate Consists Of 10% Cinsault And 15% Various Local Varietals. This Mix Is One Of The Reasons Why Richaud’s Wines, Despite Being High In Alcohol, Have Such Great Balance And Finesse. Mourvèdre Especially Plays An Important Role In Toning Down The Alcohol Degree That Grenache Easily Reaches In A Warm Year: It Requires More Sun And Later Picking, And In Cairanne It Is At The Northern Edge Of Its Growing Region. As Is Often The Case, A Varietal Gives Its Best And Most Nuanced In Such “Border” Territory: Witness Red Burgundies And Red Touraines From Cabernet Franc.

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