I have just written up the wines of Eric Texier, who is doing some really interesting work in the northern Rhone. For me, his two best wines are both made from Serine, which is a special clone of Syrah (some people claim it is actually a separate variety; there’s quite a bit of confusion about what Serine actually is). Serine is pretty much restricted to the northern Rhone, and there’s not much of it, but efforts are being made now by the Cote Rotie appellation association to isolate and conserve virus-free Serine so that it can be replanted.
Eric Texier Domaine de Pergault Brézème ‘Vieille Serine’ Rouge 2009 Côtes du Rhône Brézème, France
Serine is a local northern Rhône clone of Syrah that looks quite different. Rich yet fresh, bold black cherry and plum fruit. Spicy, peppery, concentrated and complex with a savoury, mineral edge. Quite structured with lovely purity and precision. Brilliant. 95/100
Eric Texier St Julien en St Alban ‘Vieille Serine’ 2009 Côtes du Rhône, France
On the opposite side of the Rhône, this is from old 70 year old Serine on Gneiss, with no added SO2 at all. Aromatic nose is lively showing mineral-tinged black cherry fruit with some peppery notes. The palate is meaty and lively with raspberry and cherry fruit. Fine, structured and grippy with lovely purity. Really tannic. Lots of life here. 94/100
UK agent Richards Walford