Same River Twice

Location: Jonquières & Côtes du Ventoux, Southern Rhône
Founded: 2019
Size: 4 hectares
Varieties: Clairette, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan
Viticulture: No pesticides or herbicides
Vinification: White – stainless steel, then concrete tank. Red – stainless steel

We met James Dunstan when we visited Balazu des Vaussières for the first time in early 2022. He is English, but has spent over twenty years dividing his time between France and Japan, representing great growers from all over France (including Balazu des Vaussières) in the Japanese market. He proposed that we try his Same River Twice wines after tasting the Balazu line up, and we were quite pleased by them. He said he was looking to make wines that didn’t overreach, that were balanced, that had digestibilité, or drinkability – and he has succeeded. The Blanc is 100% Clairette, farmed in Jonquières, just north east of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. It ferments in stainless steel, then ages in concrete tanks for an additional four months before being bottled – unfined and unfiltered – at the end of January to preserve all of its lively fresh fruit aromatics. The Rouge is mostly Grenache from 40 year old vines (75%), with Syrah, Mourvedre, and Carignan making up the balance. All the bunches are destemmed.  After a brief cold-soak, native-yeast fermentation takes place in enamel tanks, after which the wine is aged in concrete tank for 18 months before bottling; again, no fining or filtering.  
The name of the winery comes from the quote attributed to ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus: “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man”. James feels that wine is no different – even though it may carry the same name from vintage to vintage, it is always evolving.