2009 Dard & Ribo Cést le Printemps Crozes-Hermitage

Dard & Ribo

Dard & Ribo Cést le Printemps

The Dard & Ribo wines float my boat….we’ll look at a few more of them in due course, but seeing as this is the wine that I have been consuming the most vigorously, it seems like the most obvious place to start.

René-Jean Dard and François Ribo began their domaine in 1984 and now work around 7.5 ha, mainly in Crozes-Hermitage with a little St-Joseph & a tiny quantity of Hermitage….they have now become a bit of a cult producer and grace the  tables and wine bars of many a hipster hangout.

Crozes-Hermitage….It sits on the eastern bank of the Rhone River….Tain is pretty much it’s central point and it spreads to the North, South & East of the town…..11 communes in all….it kind of gets a bad rap because of its proximity to Hermitage itself, but there are some fantastic producers whipping out some awesome wines that sing of the earth…Dard & Ribo are one of those producers.

They souce the majority of their fruit from the North of the appellation…..above Tain itself….slope planted and more granitic…we are talking the “old” Crozes-Hermitage before the appellation was extended in 1952. The main sources are on the slopes around Larnage & Crozes-Hermitage itself…..but the fruit for this wines hails from the plains to the East of Tain and indeed to the East of the A7 autoroute….an area called Mercurol.

Mercurol is basically a plain….there is another one in Crozes-Hermitage called Chassis but that is to the South of Tain. La Grace is the name of the vineyard and it is half an hectare in size  with a mix of sand/clay and alluvial stones.

The wine sees half old oak & half stainless steel and is usually bottled in the first week of March…..hence its name….”It’s Spring!”.

It’s a juicy, glug it down type of wine which is just delicious drinking and has a great sense of freshness and vibrancy…..supposedly no SO2 but I ran a sulphur on this in the lab and it appears they probably bottle with about 20 parts for shipping overseas.

Slightly turbid bright purple….lovely vibrant aromas of juicy plum, raspberry and cherry fruits…it really jumps out of the glass with a great attack of vivid, ripe fruit. There’s hints of violets, spice and herbs with a waft of pepper.

Fresh as can be in the mouth with uncomplicated, supple dark & black fruits, spice, herbs, earth and a floral flourish. Great acid freshness and vitality….not an overly long finish but just delicious drinking.

Price: $32

Closure: Nomacork…I think

Alcohol: 12.2%

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8 Responses to “2009 Dard & Ribo Cést le Printemps Crozes-Hermitage”

  1. Paul Taper
    December 8, 2010 at 6:49 pm #

    This is a stunning drink… i’ve been through a case of this so far and can see myself buying another case. Totally gluggable.

    • Dave
      December 8, 2010 at 8:25 pm #

      I told you so you stinky hippy….you are supposed to sell the stuff in your wine shop not drink it all!

  2. lars makie
    December 8, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    Whole-heartedly agree. I had a bottle of this a couple months ago while visiting NYC and loved it (if I could get a case of this, I’d totally drink it by the gallon). Truth be told, I think I liked this more than some of their St. Josephs’ or Corzes’ (well, not the ’06 Crozes, that blew my mind). Thanks for the info on the SO2 level. I was telling someone that I couldn’t believe it when I left a glass-worth for the next day, I tried it and it hadn’t completely fallen apart (unlike their other wines I’ve had that are oxidized by the morning).

    • Dave
      December 8, 2010 at 8:24 pm #

      Hey Lars…I did buy a case of this and it’s nearly all gone…just too easy to drink. I had the 2008 Crozes-Hermitage at lunch yesterday….came out of the wine fridge and straight to a fairly warm and humid room for lunch….it looked quite angular and truncated at first but it came around in the end.
      I think the bottles I’ve tried in France (Le Verre Voule & Racines) are sans souffre but certainly for shipping they’d have to add some….a bit of CO2 in the bottles over there also.
      Liking your blog too :)



  3. Walsh
    December 12, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

    I liked this too. Lovely texture. Easily 90 points. :)

    • Dave
      December 12, 2010 at 10:05 pm #

      Poor point monkey….. :)

  4. Werner
    June 29, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    I believe adding a bit of sulphite (25mg/l) when botteling is a recent thing for D&R. They lost lot’s of winestores because of the unstability and export difficulties. I am glad to confirm this in your experiments.


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