Éric Texier became a winemaker after a prior career and without any background in vines or wines. As such, his methods developed not from years of schooling, but from his readings, his visiting winemakers around the world, and working in Burgundy with Jean-Marie Guffens at Verget. After giving up the idea of buying vineyards, which was too costly a proposition for a beginner with his ambitions, he started a small negoce where he selected interesting vineyard plots from hard-working farmers who grew the healthy grapes he wanted to buy and vinify.
He re-discovered nearly forgotten areas of ancient fame, like Brezeme in the northern Cotes-du-Rhone and the new St.-Julien en St.-Alban, a heretofore unknown plot of ancient Syrah vines on the west bank of the Rhone that had been tended by protestant monks and has never seen artificial fertilizers or pesticides. The wines are vinified in their areas of production, and when they have obtained their AOC, the young wines are transported to Charnay-en-Beaujolais, just north of Lyon, where Eric lives and has recently acquired a wonderful elevage cellar. Exact steps in vinification vary according to the varietals, terroirs and vintages, but the goal is always to provide the grapes, musts and wines with the best environment and intervene as little as possible.
100% Grenache. From 80+-year-old vines in a north-facing parcel in the Crau in the NE part of Châteauneuf-du-Pape on classic galets roulés soils. They are organically farmed and harvested by hand. Whole-cluster fermentation with native yeasts and no sulfur in concrete tank; 8-10-day maceration with no extractive techniques; aging in used barrels on the fine lees with no racking for 18 months; bottling without fining or filtration.