Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge Brézème "Vieille Serine" (Pergaud)


100% Syrah.  From 70+ year-old vines of a old, pre-clonal variety known as "Serine", planted on a south-facing, limestone marl slope of the Brézème zone (on eastern side of the Rhône River at the southern edge of the northern Rhône Valley). They are organically farmed and harvested by hand. The vinification and aging are identical to Texier's St Julien Serine bottling and thus purely expressive of the cooler, less solar, more limestone-rich Brézème terroir: whole-cluster fermentation with indigneous yeasts and no sulfur in wooden vats with an 8-10-day maceration; no extraction technqiues, only a submerged cap for a gentle infusion of color and flavor; aging in foudres for 36-48 months on the fine lees without racking; bottling without fining or filtration and generally no sulfur.

93 points
"These old petite serine vines were also planted in the 1930s, so the primary difference between this and the Saint-Julien en Saint-Alban version is that Brézème, sitting across the Rhône is a much cooler microclimate and the soils are chalky, rather than the pure granite in Saint-Julien en Saint-Alban. The two Pergaud bottlings are raised the same in the cellar, gentle extraction during fermentation in cement, three years in old foudres and then bottling without added sulfur, filtration or fining. The 2014 old vine Brézème delivers a beautiful nose of cassis, dark berry, espresso, pepper, roasted meats, chalky soil tones, the first hints of autumn leaves, tapenade and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is elegant, full-bodied and perfectly balanced, with a lovely core of fruit, impressive lift from its undercurrent of minerality, excellent focus and grip and a long, complex, modestly tannic and vibrant finish. Marcel Guigal’s father always said that if he had not been successful starting up his négociant business in Ampuis, he would have liked to have purchased the entire hill of Brézème, and tasting this beautiful wine, one can see why. A superbly complex, understate and refined wine. 2020-2045+. "
John Gilman,
View From the Cellar
, November 2020

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