jamie goode's wine blog: Two beautiful natural wines from the Rhone

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Two beautiful natural wines from the Rhone

Two wines from Hervé Souhaut at Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet in the northern Rhône. He has about 5 hectares of vines over the river from the Hermitage hill, so the wines are classified as Vin de Pays de l’Ardèche, but they are utterly beautiful, elegant creations, made from old vines with very little sulphur dioxide added. Elegantly packaged with their minimalist labels and black synthetic corks, these are wines of the moment – not designed to be cellared. Best served a little cooler than room temperature, too. [Unsurprisingly, in the UK these are available from Les Caves de Pyrene. No commercial connection, etc.]

Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet ‘La Souteronne’ Gamay 2007 Vin de Pays de l’Ardèche, France
Fresh, slightly sappy, herb-tinged nose. The palate has a lovely smooth texture and shows pure red cherry and cranberry fruit, with freshness, elegance and just a little spicy grip on the finish, making this a delightful, food-compatible wine of great purity. 91/100

Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet Syrah 2007 Vin de Pays de l’Ardèche, France
This is simply beautiful. There’s a distinctive cool-climate Syrah peppery kick on the nose, which is otherwise really pure and focused, with a gentle leafy character underneath the red fruits. The palate is beautifully supple, slightly sappy, and fantastically elegant, with real purity to the smoothly textured fruit. I guess the granite soils may have something to do with this: it’s light, but aromatic. Just 11.7% alcohol. 93/100

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At 2:48 AM, Blogger Gavin said...

Jamie, you might be interested in the wines Pierre Jancou is (trying?) to bring into the UK. In France, this style of wine is gaining popularity. These wines break all the rules -- they can be slightly sparkling, a little oxidised and the like... but I some times find something really amazing about them, maybe a unique aroma or something to the texture of the wine that is lost during the wine making process. Maybe you've seen this yourself during barrel tastings, something special which fades as the wine finishes its élevage.

Anyway, Pierre says he's bringing some of these 'natural wines' into the UK:


I have no commercial interest in Pierre's operation or any of his producers.

At 5:29 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Thanks for the pointer Gavin, and I know what you mean about the quality of natural wines.

At 9:05 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

I see that Pierre used to run La Cremerie in Paris. Serious dude. Would love to see his wines in the UK.

At 8:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for highlighting this wine (I'm drinking it as I write), it's a recent discovery for me and I've found it a beautifully balanced and elegant - but individual - wine. Love the peppery sappy-ness...

At 10:55 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

It's lovely, isn't it? I think this wine should be included in all those wine exams where candidates have to taste blind. If they don't like it, they should fail ;)

At 4:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i guess i'm a failure. this 11.7% syrah was absolutely undrinkable. in fact i cringed every time i smelled it. burnt rubber....


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