Domaine de Ribonnet sits in the heart of the Comté Tolosan, half way between Toulouse and the Pyrenees.
Previously owned by Clément Ader, one of the pioneers of mechanical flight (he is credited with “an uncontrolled hop of approximately 50m” in his plane Eolé in 1890!), the estate was taken on by Christian Gerber in 1974. His son Simon joined the team in 2015.
The family have 20 hectares under vine, and have been organic since 2001 (so no nasty chemicals in the vineyard), and they adopt a non-interventionist approach in the winery. This basically means that (as far as is practicable) they avoid any artificial additions in the winery.
As a result they make wines of stunning purity which are an honest reflection of the terroir. This Syrah from the superb 2015 vintage is a perfect example.
Offered: May 2017
Price was: £12.95
Vintage report: 2015 was an excellent vintage in south west France: good weather during the flowering season (crucial in determining the size of the harvest), a hot, dry summer; rains in August to help ripen the grapes, and to the delight of Christian and Simon, no hail damage or trouble from the cicadelles (leaf hoppers) - a bit of a problem during the previous vintage.
Drinking window: Although this will age well and develop more mature, savoury characteristics over the next 4 - 5 years, I would advise drinking it 2017 to end 2018 to take full advantage of the bright, youthful fruit.
Food matching: Young Syrah is a good match for charcuterie, but this would also go well with Comté cheese (incidentally, the cheese comes from eastern France, not Comté Tolosan just in case you were wondering). It would also be a winner with sausage and bean cassoulet.