Clairette de Die Wine
The medieval market town of Die, in the heart of the Drôme valley has been an important enclave of sparkling wine production since the Middle Ages and continues to yield characterful wines made by traditional means. Based in the hamlet of La Croix (6 kilometres west of Die), Thomas Achard represents the 6th generation of his family to cultivate vines here and currently presides over 11 hectares of vinyards which are all certified as organic and biodynamic.
His Clairette de Die 'Tradition' is made by the ancient méthode dioise, whereby a blend of 85% Muscat and 15% Clairette is chilled and filtered to remove its fine lees, leaving enough effervescence to produce a fine mousse and about 7 to 8% ABV of alcohol remaining. The finished wine has a lovely creamy texture, delicate orchard fruit scents and a fruity, mid-weight palate with a gently-honeyed finish. Traditionally, it is served with walnuts as a pre-prandial pick-me-up but also pairs well with fruit-based desserts.
Thomas also makes a sparkling Crémant de Die 'P'tit Jules' by the better-known méthode traditionelle from a blend of 55% Clairette, 30% Aligoté and 5% Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains and has no added sulphur dioxide. With an alluring wildflower and brioche bouquet and persistent palate of white stone fruit with fresh acidity it is a versatile 'crowd-pleaser' for all manner of celebrations.