The name Eric Texier has been an important name in the world of wine making for about two decades now, even if you have never heard of him. Eric jumped into the industry without owning any vineyards or having any familial connections, choosing to lease and source vineyards over the cost of buying parcels. His strict traditional methods applied to his vineyards and wine making earned a reputation that flew in the face of the trends of the time, which either brought great praise or scorn depending on where you fell on the flavor scale. Very polarizing, but the wines have encouraged similar risks being taken in many other parts of the world, and the leasing and pursuit of forgotten parcels of vines has become the mantra for a new wave of Californian wine labels that have helped breathe new life into the industry.
One of the more controversial elements of the Texier methods- primarily Biodynamic, with his own emphasis on certain parts more than others-is the desire to use little to no sulfur. While it can affect the stability of the wine once bottled (creating consistency issues from bottle to bottle, especially when not stored well), there is no doubt that it allows the wine to have a very singular flavor. The vineyard for this Cotes du Rhone sits in the 10-15 mile void between the southern end of the Northern Rhone and the northern end of the Southern Rhone. Taking more inspiration from the Northern Rhone on this, the wine is 100% Syrah and drinks with the savoriness and high toned fruit expression of a fine St Joseph or Cornas. Deep in color, the aromatics are surprisingly elegant and perfumed with lots of violets and red skinned fruits, almost hinting at citrus. The use of whole clusters gives the palate an almost Burgundian combination of silky tannins and earthy dryness. a very traditional texture that shows less of the sappy, extracted fruit and more earthy tones. The real ride comes as the wine sits open for an extended period of time, and the red fruits start to emerge and bring a constantly changing array of blue and black fruits into the picture. Patience is necessary for this wine, either over the course of an evening or in a decently controlled storage space, but fans of the style will be heroically rewarded.
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