Tapatara Counoise, Domaine Jean David
The Counoise grape varietal was totally overlooked and close to disappearing when industrial farming transform French vineyards. Only a handful of producer are now bringing it back for lighter, fruitier styles.
Domaine Jean-David has been organic since the late 1970s when Jean took over his family’s original 5 hectares of vines from his father. Since then the domaine has expanded to 15 hectares and is now under the command of Jean’s protégé Jean-Luc Auffret who joined in 2014 from a previous career in computer science. Thankfully, Jean-Luc has adhered to the original philosophy of the domaine where work has always been carried out by hand and great care it taken to promote the health of the vines. In his own words:
“The Jean-David estate is not an industry. Many jobs are done by hand. There is no rule because each vintage is different, and it is up to the winemaker to adapt to the conditions of the year to obtain a quality product. No weed killers, no chemical fertilizers and no synthetic products … and lots of fun in observing the plant, plants and all the living things around us.”
The estate’s Côtes du Rhône wine is from the limestone and alluvial terraces of the Ouvèze, not de-stemmed and fermented spontaneously in concrete then kept for 9 months before bottling. The Côtes du Rhône Séguret ‘Les Levants’ is from 90-year-old vines situated on the Dentelles de Montmirail with its sandy and limestone pebble soils and has the same vinification. The wines do not see any manipulations or additions other than small amounts of sulphites at bottling for stability. The wines are pure, balanced and authentic rather than rustic with a focus on expression of the fruit rather than cellar technique.
Producer Domaine Jean David, Jean-Luc Auffret
Viticulture & Winemaking Organic farming. Whole bunch, native yeast, matured in concrete tanks. Touch of added SO2 at bottling.
Region VdF, Rhone, France
Tasting Notes Fresher style: spice, blackberry, and vibrant red fruit with some body and kick. Mediterranean herbs on the finish.