- COTE ROTIE
- CROZES HERMITAGE
- CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE / GIGONDAS / COTE DU RHONE
- COTES DE FOREZ
DOMAINE JEAN MICHEL GERIN – Ampuis
The family domain located in Ampuis was founded in the early ’80s by Jean Michel Gerin’s grand-father and father. The domain started to bottle their own production later in that decade but it was Jean Michel’s drive and enthusiasm for the Côte Rotie appellation that got this domain well established on the wine world map. The wines once known to reflect Jean-Michel’s keeness for new oak (as did at the time the whole of the appellation) are nowadays more subtle -the oak is still used but exhibiting greater integration- and display a refined balance between the power of the northern rhone Syrah and the quintessential complex purity of the appellation. The wines are 100% Syrah (bar the Champine that has a bit of Viognier) and fully destemmed. They are decidedly assertive wines that nicely strike a balance between showing the attributes of their respective lieux-dits and great personality. Wines that require uncompromising attention. The domain in the last few years extended their offering with great gusto to Saint Joseph and serious Vin de France.
DOMAINE FRANCOIS ET FILS – Ampuis
This 4ha family domain aptly run by son Yoann since he took over from his father in 2004 is rapidly gaining praise for producing some Côte Rotie of exquisite Syrah expression. The Tradition is a blend of different vineyard sites. The Rozier is a well known single site from the southern part of the appellation on brown schists. As from 2017, Yohann is to release a new single parcel wine Les Rochins whose vines adjoin those of La Landonne. The wines are predominantly destemmed, with very well judged use of new oak to preserve the Syrah aromatic qualities. Wines whose ambition is to showcase the purity of the lieu-dits and the intensity of the Syrah fruits.
This domain is seen as ‘the’ domain in the appellation and was founded in 1956 by Pierre Gonon. In 1989, Pierre Gonon handed over the direction of this revered 6ha family domain to his sons, Jean and Pierre. Both brothers are working with great assiduity their land following organic practices and using horses the plough the very steep vineyards, located in prime sites.
DOMAINE CHRISTIAN ROUCHIER – Saint-Jean-de Muzols
www.domaine-rouchier.e-monsite.com 2.5 ha vineyards worked by horse by Christian Rouchier. Christian is one of those vignerons who offers a real authenticity both in his demeanor and his approach to vine growing and wine making. No artifice here, nothing added, nothing forced and Christian makes a point in treating both his Le Luc and Le Chave the same, the differences are thus a reflection of the terroir. The vines are superbly located high in the hills of St Jean-de-Muzols. The wines are certified organic since 2013. With this vintage came Christian’s decision to vinify separately his lieu-dits ‘Le Luc’ and Le Chave’. Le Luc is on Gneiss/Granite soils whilst Le Chave is on Granite/Gneiss. Made in the same way (vinified with stems, aged in demi-muids, no intrant, no added sulphur) both wines are exhibiting differences in their structure and intensity of aromas.
Christian released two Vin de France 2018; a Syrah made from a mix of younger vines and some older vines from the Le Puat lieu dit. Comes 2019 and Le Puat vines will be vinified separately. The Vin de France White is made from a blend of Chasselas, Marsanne with Viognier. A wine that is textural, with definite volume yet with no heaviness (courtesy of the Chasselas)? A white Rhône that would nicely stand up to cream based dishes.
DOMAINE NICOLAS BADEL – Vernosc
The domain spreads over 7 hectares. Nicolas Badel works alone and tirelessly to produce the finest wines possible from his terroir. His labels feature a reproduction of the Roman coins from 75 BC that were found in the Intuition vineyard during planting.
Nicolas is an engineer but decided to dedicate his life to vines and wines and starting from scratch in 1999, he has since established himself as a key producer in the region.
The winery is located near Vernosc-lès-Annonay, high above the Rhône tributary Cance. He made his reputation with Intuition a testimony to his commitment to expressing the best of his vines
All his wines from his friendly Syrah and Viognier to his IGP, AOP Condrieu and Saint Joseph offering show the same elegance and invitation to the senses with no intrant and unecessary sulphur added during vinification.
DOMAINE EMMANUEL DARNAUD – La Roche de Glun
Emmanuel Darnaud had made a name for himself way before marrying into the Bernard Faurie family. He established his own domain back in 2001 in the Roche de Glun quarter of the Crozes Hermitage appellation and had slowly increased his vineyard holding in the appellation. Les Trois Chènes refers to oak trees where his vineyard is. He In the last few years he purchased one of the prime sites from his father in law – lieu- dit Les Dardouille in Saint-Joseph adding to the domain high quality range of wines.
DOMAINE JACQUES BREYTHON – Beaumont Monteux
Certified organic and biodynamic since 2002 this domain of 8ha located in the south of the appellation is offering some exciting Crozes Hermitage wines. It was great unravelling this small family domain managed by Jacques Breyton. The wines are made from non-destemmed grapes with the Tradition fermented in stainless steel to preserve the primary Syrah aromas and the ‘Futs de Chene’ is aged in large oak for less than a year just enough to add an extra layer of spicy complexity to the wine.
CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE
DOMAINE DES SAUMADES – Courthézon
This tiny 2ha domain located in Courthézon is aptly run by husband and wife Franck et Murielle Mousset. The grapes are to be found in the reputed lieu-dit Pignan whose sandy based soil provides the 100% Grenache grapes with beautiful elegance. Matured in aged barrels for a year both the red and white wines from this domain reveal intense fruits and grace. The white is 50 % grenache blanc, 25 % clairette, 25 % bourboulenc and has an inviting onctuosity and salivating minerality. Both offerings are definite food wines!
DOMAINE BASTIDE SAINT VINCENT – Violès
Flanking the evocatively named Dentelles de Montmirail, with vines on the equally evocative Plateau des Garrigues, La Bastide St. Vicent is a delightful, family-owned wine domaine with 17th-century origins.
Laurent Daniel farms the famous trio – Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvdre grapes, vinifying them separately in a combination of cement and stainless steel. He keeps temperatures relatively low to allow full and generous expression of the fruit flavours.
COTE DU RHONE
DOMAINE FOND CROZE – Saint-Romain de Malegarde
Côte du Rhone wines abound but sourcing good Côte du Rhone ticking all the boxes with regards to pure fruits that are not overworked at attractive prices is a challenge. The vineyards at Fond Croze are domain owned and farmed organically with their quality remaining consistent year in year out. The vines are just outside Cairannes and benefit from a northern exposure and topography bringing this lively energy in the wines; A winning proposition!
The name Pique-Basse is inspired by the local name of this area, ‘piquebas’, which roughly translates as ‘low podium’. And, indeed, a number of the plots situated around the cellar are slightly raised, while being part of the Roaix plain. This 12 ha family domain now runs by third generation Olivier Tropet is located in Roaix by the Ventabren massif and opposite Mont-Ventoux.
DOMAINE DE LA MADONNE – Champdieu
Gilles Bonnefoy founded the domain in 1997 and started tworking organically before becoming biodynamic certified in 2009. Gilles Bonnefoy not only wanted to work in unison with the environment but also with grape variety and Gamay variations that were long due a revival for they make inspiring wines. His domain is nowadays the one stop domain for anyone looking for Gamay that expresses the attributes of the local terroir. The vineyards are well exposed to ensure grape maturity with the high altitude conferring an elegant frame to the wine. The Dacite wine is from younger vines whilst the Migmatites is from vieilles vignes of over 45years old.