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
The Syrah grapes come from a tiny parcel of land along the slopes of the Doux River and the vines are on average 50 years old. This beauty has a most expansive and pretty profile – violets, black cherry, flowers and wet stone all billow out of the glass. The palate echoes the aroma and the tannins that gradually frame the finish are in the featherweight division and only serve to highlight the vibrant components of this lithe, fresh and captivating wine. The archetype of mountain grown Syrah - so good !