Domaine Ricard Le Vilain P'tit Rouge
Touraine AOC , Loire Valley, France
Vincent Ricard produces a robust style of Côt with a delicacy and perfume placing it firmly in a more northern growing region. A hearty red with bright black fruit and some vanilla and spice.
The word uttered most by Vincent Ricard is 'atypique', and this is definitely true of his Côt. Although the same grape as Malbec, the Loire Valley style is quite different from that grown in Cahors or Argentina. Fermentation in cement tanks then into new, 1- and 2-year old barrels for approximately 9 months.
Domaine Ricard is situated on the southern facing slopes of the Cher River in the Touraine region, not far from Chenonceau. The Ricard family has been growing vines here for generations. Vincent’s grandfather was a founding member of the local co-op but it was not until Vincent took over that they started making their own wines. He farms 17 hectares of vines which are predominantly Sauvignon Blanc, but he also grows Caberbnet Franc and Cot (Malbec).
Very early on he got in to trouble with the authorities for producing a red wine with too much structure and concentration and therefore atypical of the appellation! When he applied for appellation controlée he was denied it because his wines were so completely different to the bulk wines produced by the local co-operatives. Vincent’s wicked sense of humour and healthy disregard for the status quo led him to duly label his red Le Vilain P’tit Rouge, “the little red villain”.
His wines are fresh, lively and very representative of the terroir. His Le Petiot is lively and modern but very much Loire, not New Zealand. The red Le P’tit Villain, ripe with cherry fruit and spice, is idiosyncratic and not something you come across often. Vincent Ricard is a great example of the personality of the winemaker finding its way into the glass.
This family estate for 5 generations is located on the Cher hills, south exposure. It extends over 22 ha in Appellation Touraine Blanc 3 ha in Appellation Touraine Chenonceaux Blanc 3.5 ha in Appellation Touraine Rouge