VDF "Le Clau" Serine (Laurence & Eric Texier)


From Eric Texier himself: "From a handful of rows in our 0.5 ha of a very particular strain of Serine. Planted in the 1930’s in the Masson parcel of Saint-Julien en-Saint-Alban in the lieu-dit Le Clau. They present unique ampelographic qualities, very different from the Serines we find in Brézème or other Northern vineyards, notably very low alcoholic degrees when in full maturity. All replacements here have been done through marcottage, without the introduction of any clones. We are still not sure of their exact nature, and certain ampelography experts believe it may not even be Syrah. It may actually be Bravade or Exbrayat. Taking advantage of the plentiful 2016 harvest, we decided to these vinify these separately and the result is unique. We’ve discovered a very particular personality, and it’s an immense pleasure to share this with you.Whole-cluster, with a light treading for 20% of the grapes. 6-8 days of maceration with an immersed cap, no extraction. Native yeasts. Aged 18 months in demi-muids. No filtration or fining. No sulfur was added at any point during vinification, aging or bottling."

From Bowler Wine: 2017 is only the second vintage of this 300-magnum bottling. Previously these old vines of Serine went into the "Vieille Serine" St. Julien bottling (from a south-facing slope on granite soils in the warm St-Julien-en-St-Alban zone, in the Ardèche on the northern bank of the Ouvèze, west of the Rhône River, at the southern edge of the northern Rhône Valley). The wine is bottled by hand by the Texier family and sports a completely different label, featuring Eric's and his wife Laurence's names and an artistic rendering of the Le Clau plot.


93 points
"Deep, shimmering violet. Powerful dark berry, cherry, exotic spice and licorice scents are accompanied by building olive and floral pastille flourishes. Fleshy blueberry, bitter cherry and spicecake flavors show serious heft and pick up a smoky bacon nuance on the back half. Unwinds slowly with air and finishes chewy and impressively long, displaying alluring sweetness, repeating florality and gently gripping tannins. Texier told me that he's not really sure this vineyard is planted to true Serine, but suspects that it is some sort of mutation of it, since it ripens at a different pace than the vines planted alongside it. He does know that all of the vines were planted some time in the 1930s, in the Côtes-du-Rhône St.-Julien-en-St.-Alban site and, until the 2016 vintage, these grapes used to go into that bottling. All whole clusters and no sulfur; raised in neutral demi-muids."
Josh Raynolds,
Vinous Media
, May 2020

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