“VRAC”, or “en vrac" translates to “bring your own bottle”. In many French villages, locals will bring bottles or jugs to a nearby winery and fill them up with an easy drinking wine to use as their house wine. VRAC Côtes du Rhône is made from fruit grown in the southern Rhône valley. 90% of the fruit is de-stemmed, with the remaining 10% left as whole clusters. Fermentation occurs in open concrete and stainless steel vats. After pressing, the wine is aged in steel tanks. In the old-school approach, a Côtes du Rhône red wine would almost always have seen some barrel—the same barrels sometimes used for too many vintages—leaving the opportunity for brettanomyces or other unfavorable bacterial life to flourish and become part of the aromatic profile, often noted as “barnyard”. But in the new school of winemaking, every attempt is made to capture the freshness of fruit while leaving room for the stony minerality to show through, so no oak is used at all. The result is a delicious, fresh wine that delivers a true sense of place.
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