The wines of Hervé Souhaut are so hot right now…….
His domaine….the 5 ha Romaneaux-Destezet, sprung to life in 1993 near Arlebosc in the Ardeche. The Ardeche is a region in the south of France….named after the river of the same name it sits on the right-bank of the Rhone River and is kind of squished between the wine producing regions of the Northern and Southern Rhone. Hervé Souhaut’s wines from this funky little region are classified as Vin de Pays and grace the tables of some of the funkiest wine-bars in Paris and the U.S.
The thing of interest to wine trainspotters like my tragic self is besides producing kick arse wines, Hervé spent time working for the cats at Dard et Ribo and owns a press that once belonged to the Obi Wan Kenobi of natural wine…..Jules Chauvet. He also makes another wine with the dudes from Dard et Ribo….I haven’t been able to get one of those yet but when I do I’ll be all over it like a fat kid on a chocolate cake.
The Gamay vineyard used in the VdP La Souteronne is between 60 to 80 years of ages and is farmed organically. The grapes are harvested by hand and undergo a long maceration at low temperature without destemming. The wine is aged on its fine lees in old oak casks before being bottled unfiltered with just the merest dab of sulphur to send it on its way.
Beautiful, elegant wines…..pure, full of life and screaming of terroir….no wonder the powers that be in the Rhone wanted to knock him back a few pegs…..as explained here. The allocation of these wines for Australia is quite small, so I suggest if you see some around at your local boozatorium….snap them up….and treat them kindly…wines like this deserve and require good cellaring conditions. Look after them and they will repay you generously.
A purple, grapey hue in the glass.
An enticing nose of wild cherry, macerated strawberries, plum and fig paste …..plenty of interest, with hints of stone, olive tapenade, violets, stone, spice and scattered herbs. There are faint wafts of sweet smoke and roasted meats also…..it’s a quite deep, earthy smelling wine……an almost sod type of earthiness.
Medium-bodied with excellent concentration of fruit flavours and shaped nicely….smooth and supple with ripe wild cherry, plum and strawberry fruit with some light cranberry high-tones. The mid-palate is mineral-laden and stony with hints of baking spice, garrigue, roasted meats, dried flowers and a touch of red-fruited lift that segues onto a back palate that is earthy, deep and schisty. A nice backbone of acidity with a medium length finish and some nice super-fine gravelly tannin.
A wine showing lovely purity, freshness and great food-compatibility and one which will have you say….”Vin de Pays my $#%@ing arse!”
Price: $40 – Closure: Nomacork – Alcohol: – 12.3% – Source: Cellar – Importer: – Andrew Guard Fine Wines