Vin de France Chilled Red 2023

2023 marks our fifth vintage and we continue to experiment with different styles of wines that both faithfully represent and express our beautiful terroir and also delight and interest you, our customers.

Last year we introduced our first Orange wine and with this vintage we’re pleased to introduce our first Chilled Red bottling, also made from certified organic vines.

Chilled Red is a style of wine that lies somewhere between Rosé and Red and is actually made by a bit of both those styles’ methods, although possibly a bit more like Rosé than Red. The wine is a pale red that’s also light in tannin and lighter in alcohol than typical reds from this region (this is 13%, many reds from here are 14.5 to 15.5%) but without any sacrifice in richness of flavour or aroma.

The wine is a blend of three of our traditional grape varieties Grenache noir, Cinsault and Syrah. Grenache provides the flesh and rich, sweet red berry fruit, the Cinsault the juiciness and a dash of lavender, and Syrah provides the cool, mineral notes and red and black peppercorns. Together they create a beautiful harmony. It plays exactly somewhere between a Rosé and a Red, with gentle tannins, refreshing acidity and notes of red cherry, acerola, cranberry, some spice, and a touch of floral dried rose. Perfect to enjoy drinking on its own or with all sorts of light and simple dishes.

It comes from the same terroir as our other wines which is where we get the balance of freshness and fruit richness. We are blessed with a perfect terroir for producing the kind of wines we love to drink and love to produce: wines with clear and rich fruit flavours, good balancing acidity, and the energy you get when the wine really tastes of the fruit it’s made from.

Our terroir is the beautiful, historic wine region of the Ventoux, near to but quite distinct from Gigondas and Vacqueyras. It’s a landscape of hills and mountains, wild Provençal herbs that perfume the air, pine woods, lavender, olive trees, vines, and beautiful light. The dry, sunny Mediterranean climate is perfect for growing grapes. The Mt Ventoux which forms the backdrop to the region, at 1900m, is Provence’s highest mountain and named after the word for wind “vent”. Our vines are planted at 150 to 220m, with plenty of natural ventilation, and this combination of cooling winds and relative altitude where the vines grow gives the wines an unusual and natural freshness for our region which is a great counter balance to the sun-soaked richness of the fruit.

The vines themselves are 20 to 40 years old, grown on poor, stony, clay-limestone soils. Organic after flowering, the vineyard is farmed for sustainability with minimal treatments and tractor use. While all our fruit is grown without the use of herbicides and pesticides and using basically organic methods (we do sulfur to control mildew) we don’t formally certify all wines because of the additional cost, both financially and to the environment, to meet arbitrary standards which would mean more carton footprint and a more expensive bottle of wine for you.

The wine is made and aged with a light touch in a steel tank using natural yeasts. We first de-stem the fruit and press around 2/3 of it to extract juice the juice into tank and then add the other 1/3 whole berries with skins. There it ferments for around 2 weeks when we rack it and return it to the same tank to finish fermenting. We leave it to settle for a few months then bottle it unfined, and very lightly filtered for stability. There are no additives, and no manipulations other than a light dose of sulfites.

It was bottled on January 10 2024 in a clear bottle (460gm) and sealed with a Diam Origine 5 cork (the best for sustainability and for the wine) and without a foil capsule (to further reduce the carbon footprint). Although the wine is certified organic, we don’t put the leaf or other mark on the label because some markets prohibit it.

Alcohol 13%
Sulfur Total 39 mg/L
Acidity Total 2,96 | pH 3,53
Production 12,000 bottles

Vintage Notes 2023

2023 was another hot and dry vintage in which the earlier ripening fruit matured with a great balance of fruit character and freshness due to a decent amount of rain the previous winter as well as an early summer. Later ripening fruit, being half the red, suffered by comparison from a heatwave in mid to late August leading to higher alcohol levels and rich but relatively simple fruit flavours (so we’re not making any red wines from this fruit).