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04 June 2013

Languedoc: Terre des Chardons, Costières de Nîmes

This vaguely inquisitive scribe first came across owner, grower and winemaker Jérôme Chardon - who's been doing organics in the field (they have olive and fruit trees and grow veg too) for no less than 25 years and using the biodynamic way since 2002 - and his sumptuous sunny wines back in the summer of 2010. We were at a tasting and presentation of medal-winning organic wines (and yogurts, jams etc. actually), as Jérôme's 2009 Bien Luné red was one of the Trophy winners. More about that with my note on this wine here: Signature Bio: organic wine competition winners.

From terredeschardons.fr
I caught up with him and tasted the 2011 vintage of this lovely wine and others earlier this year at Millésime Bio wine show in Montpellier; I guess its name, Bien Luné, is a bit of a biodynamic pun as it means "in a good mood" although literally could also be "well moon-ed"! You'll find Jérôme's vines in Bellegarde lying between Nîmes and Arles (near the 'border' between the Languedoc and Provence, i.e the bottom of the River Rhone as it heads out merrily into the Med), which are part of Domaine Sainte-Marie des Costières. More info (including stockists and how to get there) @ www.terredeschardons.fr. Reasonable prices too: the € ones quoted below are cellar door.

2010 Clairette de Bellegarde - yeast-lees and toasted notes layered with very floral vs honeyed and exotic fruit, crisp 'mineral' bite with a nice bitter twist; interesting dry white style, even if a little 'out of kilter' in the end maybe. €9
2011 Bien Luné (Syrah, Grenache 50-50) - delicious dark ripe black cherry and liquorice with peppery edges, concentrated and full-on countered by attractive 'fresh' tannins, dark lush fruit and nice bite on the finish. Yum. €8.50
2011 Marginal (Syrah 80%, Grenache) - similar profile but more intense with violets, dark berries and chocolate; again has silky tannins and tasty long finish. Double yum. €10
2011 Le Chardon Marie (mostly Syrah from selected plots) - lively violet cassis and black cherry/berry, peppery too and concentrated with fine tasty finish, lovely textured tannins again with tighter palate vs a bit of oomph. €19

3 comments:

  1. Hi Richard. Those wines sound really good and I quite fancy visiting Chardons for a tasting. Just a quick question.... I see they are stocked by a couple of UK merchants, but do you know if they have an agent importer or do they just sell to individual merchants?

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  2. Great Leon, I'll have to start charging a 'finder's fee'! I didn't note down who sells them in the UK, but I don't think he mentioned a specific importer. His email is tdchardons@yahoo.fr and mobile 06 15 25 22 81 by the way.

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  3. Thanks Richard - I may drop him an email. The cheque is in the post......... ;-)

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