The Northern Rhône is home to some of the wine world’s most well-known AOCS – Crozes-Hermitage, Saint Joseph, Cornas, etc – and for Dard et Ribo, a pair of France’s ‘90s sans-souffre vanguard, these labels have served to both mystify and demystify the fruits of their labor. René-Jean Dard and François Ribo have been making natural wines since 1983. There is a Shakespearean flair to the history of Dard et Ribo: born in towns that face one another across the Rhône, they came together as though making two halves of this place, split by a river, meet. They were fast friends at oenological school in Beaune over forty years ago where they decided to work together on the old Rhône vines of René-Jean Dard’s father and to then vinify sans souffre in a time when this was essentially unheard of; their lower-extraction SO2-free expressions of Syrah bedazzle(d) and belie(d) the general reputation of their labels’ AOCs. Crucially, theirs are wines from these places – Crozes-Hermitage, Saint Joseph – and they want anyone drinking one of their bottles to know it. That’s how distinct, rare, and honest these bottlings tend to be: you have to keep checking what the label says to believe it – so believe it.
Marsanne & Rousanne