- WinemakerSylvain Gauthier
- RegionRhone Valley
- AppellationSaint Joseph
Domaine Des Pierres Seches Saint-Joseph Cuvee Revirand 2019
Sylvain Gauthier was born and raised in the Northern Rhone but traveled to Beaune in the heart of Burgundy to study winemaking. Following his studies, he secured a job with the incomparable Michel Chapoutier and then with Stephane Robert of Domaine du Tunnel (another of the region’s rising stars) before settling in the village of Cheminas, founding Domaine Pierres Seches in 2007.
This new cuvée holds a special place in the mind of Sylvain. At this high altitude, purely granite, south-facing site, he went on to craft his first ever Saint-Joseph syrah. This site allows Sylvain to make a Saint-Joseph wine of remarkable power and elegant balance – loaded with black fruit and myriad spice – and possessing the boundless energy of classic Northern Rhone syrah. The 50+-year-old vines provide ample concentration and finely-grained tannins to ensure that this is a syrah with plenty of structure to thrive over a long cellaring.
His micro-domaine is comprised of 13.5 acres of land, farmed organically, with the vineyards plowed by horse (or when the terrain becomes too steep – by hand). His holdings are all located in the southernmost portion of the Saint-Joseph appellation.
Vineyard holdings include small, steeply graded plots in the communes Sarras, Arras-sur-Rhône, Vion, Ozon, and crucially, in the renowned, southeast-facing lieu-dit of ‘Aubert’ on the Sainte Épine mountain in Saint-Jean de Muzols. The original boundaries, and villages of the Saint-Joseph appellation (drawn in 1956) are located here in the south. For the most part, Sylvain’s syrah is partially destemmed, but this special bottling is fermented whole-cluster. Fermentation occurs in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks on indigenous yeasts. His wines are aged in older French oak barrels, from 3-4 years old.
This full-bodied, luscious syrah shows powerful black fruits like blackberries, black currants, and black plums, with a decided peppery, spicy edge that also includes warm notes of clove and anise seed. The grip is present yet refined, with the soft and velvety tannins uplifted by a steady, electric acidity. This beauty will seamlessly develop over the next two decades, though a brief decant of 30 minutes grants one access to this wonder in its youth. We were only able to get 20 cases total, and with this wine’s booming cult status, it will likely fly fast! Get some while it lasts!