Cotes-du-Rhone Rouge "Chat Fou" 2020

Eric Texier

$38

45% Grenache/35% Cinsault/25% white blend (Clairette/Viognier/Chasselas/other). From vines planted on a south-facing slope on granite soils in the warm St-Julien en St-Alban zone (in the Ardèche on the northern bank of the Ouvèze--to the west of the Rhône River, at the southern edge of the northern Rhône Valley). The fruit is organically farmed (certified) and the varieties co-harvested by hand. The bunches are partly de-stemmed, part pressed directly, and fermented with native yeasts in concrete tanks with a short five-day maceration and no sulfur. There are no extraction techniques utitlized. The wine is aged in tank on the its fine lees for a year and bottled without fining or filtration.

"Chat Fou" is by design a fresh, light "vin bistro". Eric T added the Cinsault and reduced the Grenache since the 2019 vintage to move it more in the direction of easy charm and playfulness. Plus he feelsthat Cinsault is a potentially much more sustainable and successful variety compared to Grenache in the face of sky-rocketing temperatures in the Rhône.