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Côtes du Rhône Brézème Rouge Eric Texier 2017

Eric Texier Collection by Philglas & Swiggot

  • Size: 750ml
  • Vintage: 2017
  • ABV: 14%
  • Origin: Côte du Rhône / Rhône / France
  • Grapes: Syrah


Eric Texier is a former nuclear scientist who is now one of the best proponents of natural winemaking technqiues in France. His wines are authentic and intelligently made - no funky, crazy winemaking faults.

Eric made the unprecedented leap from nuclear engineer to winemaker in the early 1990s. Although his passion for wine was begat from the wines of Burgundy, he was inspired by an older generation of Rhône producers like Marius Gentaz and Pouchoulin, and felt that a successor was needed. Drawing on their methods of only using natural yeasts and leaving the bunches intact, he developed some of his own ideas and techniques as well. The grapes are grown organically (although the labels don’t state this). Maturation is carried out in old demi-muids and sulphur dioxide is never used during vinification, only at bottling. All of these methods, he feels, serve to express the special terroir of these appellations..

And what of the terroirs? Brézème is a tale of two soils, divided by a valley. One, which Eric refers to as the “vrai Côte de Brézème” and likens to Hermitage, is made up of marnes calcaires while the other is more alluvial with galets ronds. There is a unique microclimate here, 300 metres above sea-level with a cooling influence from the Vercors Massif to the east. Some vineyards are classified as Brézème and others not in a seemingly haphazard fashion; the only element that Eric can find in common for the classified vineyards is that they are easier to work.

Brézème is a small area that runs of the main Rhône river valley, a tributary to the east. The vineyards are south-facing and planted on limestone soils simiilar to Hermitage just 10km or so to the north. During the 19th century the wines from here were as highly regarded. Eric is the only organic producer in Brézèmeand could be seen as a pioneer of both appellations which, while today being just humble Côtes du Rhône, are expected very shortly to have their own appellations. Stunning value.