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Le Terret Noir

A Rare Grape Variety of the Rhône Valley

A black grape native to Languedoc and the Rhône Valley, Terret-Noir is one of the 13 grape varieties authorized by the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation, but today it is very rarely used. Its role in blends has become anecdotal, although it can contribute lightness and fruity notes to wines.


A Confidential Southern Grape

Terret-Noir is an ancient black grape variety that has been present in the south of France for several centuries. However, as the vineyard modernized, it was gradually abandoned in favor of higher quality and easier-to-cultivate varieties such as Grenache, Syrah, or Mourvèdre. Today, Terret-Noir only occupies a few scattered hectares in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône, and Languedoc appellations. It tends to disappear from blends, where it is used only in very small proportions by a few traditional estates.


A Blending Grape for Lightness and Fruit


Terret-Noir is a vigorous and productive grape variety that requires proper pruning to control yields. It is quite resistant to diseases and adapts well to the warm and dry terroirs of southern France. Its clusters are medium-sized and not very compact, with berries that have thin, lightly colored skins.

Vinified alone, Terret-Noir produces light wines with low tannins and color, featuring delicate fruity and floral aromas. However, its qualitative potential is limited, and it is rarely used as a single varietal. Its acidity can, however, bring freshness to blends.


In the red wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes du Rhône, Terret-Noir is never vinified alone but always blended with other grape varieties such as Grenache, Syrah, or Mourvèdre. Low in color and tannins, it adds a touch of lightness and fruity and floral notes to the wines. It helps to slightly temper the power and richness of the main varieties.

Its role in blends remains very marginal, rarely exceeding a few percent. Its influence on the aromatic profile of the wines is therefore quite subtle and more akin to a note of finesse than a dominant character.

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