Le Clos des Grillons
Nicolas Renaud of Clos de Grillons is exactly the kind of vigneron we are into. Not only is he a good friend and neighbour of the Eric Pfifferling, the pair also join forces to make Sune's own gift cuvée 'Venskab'. Formerly a history teacher and with no family ties to wine or ownership of land, Nicolas slowly began to rent parcels of land in areas that were overlooked by the cooperatives who were on the search for more productive vines. Of course these old vines and low yields were exactly what Nicolas was looking for. The domaine is now 18ha and lies just a few miles South West of Tavel. The vines are trained low to help cope better with the strong winds of the region. As well as the usual Southern Rhone suspects, Nicolas is keeping the near extinct Bourbelanc and Picpoul Gris alive and well in his domaine. 'Les Clos de Grillions comes from 5 parcels in Rochefort and Saze and is a mixture of 60 % Grenache Blanc, 35% Bourboulenc and 5 % Clairette . The Grenache fermented in casks, the rest in large vats before before being transferred to steel tanks. 1-1.5g of SO2 is added during blending. '1901' is another white cuvée that originates from a vineyard of Bourboulenc planted that very year close to Rochefort. Bourbelanc has lost popularity in the region due to its saline expressions but Nicolas enjoys these characteristics. The wine is fermented in casks and then racked into smaller casks before it is bottled. Other cuvées include 'Clos des Grillons Rouge' a whole-bunch carbonic macerated Grenache and Cinsault blend straight from a stainless steel vat and 'Les Terres Blanches', an old vines Carignan and Grenache blend which sees the two varieties vinified together in concerete tanks.