Didier was one of our earliest vigneron acquaintances in France - we met him in 1993 soon after he had broken away from the Cave Co-operative in Die to set up as an independent wine maker, and we have followed the success of his enterprise with interest ever since. His Clairette de Die Tradition (and the special cuvée Florilège in particular) is an excellent example of the unique sweet sparkling wine of the Diois, made largely or wholly from muscat grapes. This is a bit confusing - the name of the appellation comes from a grape variety, clairette, which is sometimes mixed with muscat in this wine but is mainly used to make the dry sparkling wine now known as Crémant de Die. Didier's crémant and some of his other French wines have entries in Hachette almost every year, incidentally.
We are always pleased to rediscover his wines on our visits to the Diois, including those from Tunisia (with tastes of spices and hotter soils) as well as from the Diois including of course the sparkling Crémant and Clairette de Die.We've enjoyed the Tunisian red and rosé with various meals during recent stays, and brought back some of the excellent Gamay d'Antan which is one of his appellation controlée (Châtillon en Diois) wines.Most recently he has started to make red St Joseph from a small parcel of vines he has acquired on the other side of the Rhône, and we were fascinated to compare this wine with the St Joseph we acquired at the Cave Co-opérative at Saint Désirat on the one hand, and with his own 100% syrah called Saint Romanée which he grows right here near Châtillon on the other. The St Josephs compared well and were both excellent. Since the early years of the 21st century Didier has branched out into Tunisia, and produces outstanding red, white and rosé wines there, sold through his Cave in the Diois.