Place: Rhone Valley, FRA
Hervé Souhaut is one of a kind, producing some of the most lithe, perfumed, and exuberant wines from the Rhone. He and his wife converted the cellars of her parents' centuries-old hunting lodge into the winery and now draw on four parcels of vines totaling 8.5 acres in Saint Joseph, as well as 20 additional acres of Vin de Pays vineyards on the plateau, planted primarily to Gamay, Roussanne and Viognier. The AOC wines are labeled under Souhaut's name, while the Vin de Pays cuvées are named Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet, in homage to the name of her parents' estate combined with Béatrice's family name.
The methods of Jules Chauvet are followed here, which is to say grapes are hand-harvested and then the whole bunches undergo a pre-fermentation maceration at low temperature. Fermentation follows using natural yeasts in wooden and concrete tanks – the wine is then aged on fine lees in seasoned oak casks for eight to twelve months. Following that there is just a teeny dose of sulfur at bottling, which is done without filtration
La Souteronne is made from Gamay - the vines are between 70 to 90 years old. This is, like the Syrah, truly superb - floral, fruit driven Gamay with an edgy mountain freshness and an attractive Rhône accent that gives it an incisive, meaty drive. It has an exquisite aroma, is luscious, crunchy and incredibly moreish. There's always very little around, so buy it now before it's gone.