*Notes: *True to its south facing character, this is an intensely concentrated gamay so richly textured and peppery, it's often suggestive of a cool climate syrah. An elegant and deeply expressive gamay with backbone and structure. A gamay for syrah lovers!
*Site & Vines: *2 ha south facing parcel approx 25 years old. South-facing granite slope, this is the domaine's warmest site. The soils are plowed and the vines are nourished by the previous year's cuttings, by organic compost and by powdered limestone (to neutralize the soil's acidity). Human intervention comes into play several times during each season for de-budding, trellising, leaf-thinning...
*Vinification & Elevage: * We harvest all grapes by hand before carefully sorting them in the cellar. Maceration in whole bunch in wooden tronconic tanks with temperature control. Partial de-stemming (40 %), then slow maceration in alternate layers of stems/de-stems for 14 days with natural yeas followed by pneumatic pressing. Aged for 11 months in wooden tronconic tanks. Lightly filtered before bottling.
The Côte Roannaise may be little known but the wines stand out boldly and speak for themselves, whether it's the luscious, off-dry sparkling gamay "Turbullent," the delicate and precise bone dry still rosé "Cabochard", or the dense and spicy south-eastern exposed single parcel "Oudan". Technically part of the Loire Valley but actually much closer to Beaujolais, it is 50 km west of Morgon in the Monts de Madeleine, close to the Loire River's source in the Massif Central. Gamay reigns supreme in this high elevation site perched on a vein of granite, and the domaine's myriad single parcels capture nuanced expressions of place and make for extremely compelling wines.
The domaine dates back to the 18th century, Stéphane is the 5th generation to work this land and he and his wife Carine have done much to elevate the recognition of their appellation, Gamay Saint Romain - the locally adapted version of Gamay native to the area, and they have also done much to spread the good practice word about responsible farming. Today they have close to 30 hectares, the oldest vines are 80 years old and, the domaine is certified organic and in the process of converting parcel by parcel to Demeter certification.
The domaine is devoted to the locally adapted Gamay Saint Romain, densely planted (9000 vines per hectare) over a number of high elevation parcels with varying exposures. Gamay Saint Romain tends to have smaller bunches and berries that are more prone to millerandage or being shot than the more commonly planted Gamay à jus noir. This often translates to a more concentrated expression of the fruit.
The high vine density allows them to keep yields per vine low and quality very high. It’s a vineyard management philosophy that encourages vines to grow their root systems deep as the vines compete with each other for limited water and nutrients and the character of the fruit is driven by the subsoil.
Stéphane has expanded and modernized his father's cellar so that he is able to vinify each parcel separately in cement tanks. This allows him to adapt to each parcel's needs and perfectly capture those distincitive qualities in each individual cuvée.