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Jean-François Jacouton 'Pierres d'Iserand' Saint-Joseph 2020


100% Syrah & Granite

As a yound boy, Jean-François worked alongside his grandfather, tending their family parcels in Saint Joseph lieu-dit Sainte-Épine (just above Raymond Trollat’s legendary old vine which now go into Gonon’s Vieilles Vignes bottling) in the village of Saint-Jean-de-Muzols. Jean-François fully took over his family’s vines in 2003, while simultaneously working in Côte-Rôtie (Rostaing), Hermitage, and Savoir (Pierre Boniface), and then began his own Domaine in 2010. Farming lutte raisonnée with horses and hand-plowing, Jean-François is a vigneron, spending almost all of his time in the vines. He is also reconstructing some of the old stone terraces that went to forest after phylloxera, similar to how Thierry Allemand is reclaiming Chaillot terraces further south in Cornas.

Jacouton also still farms apricots, cherries and peaches (which has been the history in this region with
Verset, Chave and others) so benefically his wine cellar is an old fruit warehouse on the granite plateau above the vines. The temperature of his cellar can be dropped to zero degrees Celcius, allowing him to work with
lower levels of SO2 while maintaining cleanliness and prceision. His whites are sexy and polished, but still
show restraint (a tiny production of Condrieu being in the earlier-harvested school of raciness and minerality),
the reds are classic and old-school but also clean and precise. The older vines show more density, chewiness (also with greater inclusion of whole bunches) and ageability.

The Northern Rhône has long been a source of inspiration, being lucky to work with legendary producers like Allemand, Clape, Gonon, and Verset, over the last fifteen years visiting the Mecca of Syrah. This past April I finally met a new young producer whose work seeks to rival the old masters of the region: Jean-François Jacouton.

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