Domaine Ricard Tasciaca
Touraine Chenonceaux AOC, Loire Valley, France
Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire is steadfastly unoaked. However, maverick winemaker Vincent Ricard loves to buck a trend and gently ages his in French oak. Aromas of nectarines and ginger, with white fruit texture, a long Mouthwatering finish with orange peel zip.
Chenonceaux AOC was only created in 2011 and now produces a more opulent style with additional smokiness achieved from the flinty, Tuffeau stone. Fermented mostly in large oak tonneaux (25 h/l) and 25% in smaller barrels, the oak gives texture and complexity while not overpowering the beautiful fruit. Natural yeast keeps the wine entirely true to its terroir, and grapes are hand-harvested.
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