Bernard Diochon Moulin-a-Vent Vieilles Vignes 2020
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Bernard Diochon pre-dates the Gang of Four by almost two decades, and he never got quite the attention that Foillard, Lapierre, et al have received, despite his uncompromising, traditional methods. The last few vintages, in the hands of Bernard's successor, Thomas Patenôtre, have overdelivered. Diochon is a deep cut Charles Lloyd LP you come across at a stoop sale with the spine ripped, something you think is going to be stuffy and dated but is surprisingly nimble, earnest, and uplifting.
These wines have always excelled at showing off a satisfying, earthy structure that leaves room for all sorts of delicate top notes. In this case, the substantial tannins are perfectly integrated with a gorgeous mix of lavender, blueberry, and sour cherry. And just enough gamey wildness to keep things interesting. Careful viticulture of 50-85 year old vines, aging in old foudrè, and minimal sulfur use. Diochon is an unbelievable steal hiding in plain sight. Jonathan Kemp