2020 Domaine Texier Côtes du Rhône "Brézème", Rhone Valley, France

Deep violet in color with a powerful nose that is of smoke-accented dark berries, licorice and pungent violets. The palate holds all the classic Syrah characteristics of chewy black and a spicy aspect as the wine opens up. It's generous yet still lively.


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100% Syrah. From Texier's younger (20-40-year-old) vines, 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 bottling and thus purely expressive of the cooler, less solar, more limestone-rich Brézème terroir: whole-cluster fermentation with native yeasts in open concrete tanks with no sulfur and a 6-8-day maceration; no extraction techniques (only a submerged cap for gentle infusion of color and flavor); aging in concrete tanks on the fine lees for 18-24 months with no racking; bottling is without fining or filtration and with a minute dose of sulfur.


Eric is a trailblazer, putting all the but extinct regions of Brézème and Saint Julien en Saint Alban on the map. He experiments with concepts you rarely if ever hear about elsewhere: finding acidity in Marsanne through anforas, not working the soil in favor of cover crops, "infusion" macerations, working on his own grafts, rediscovering forgotten grapes adaptable to the very real threat of climate change...

He originally became a winemaker after a first career as an engineer in the nuclear industry and without any family background in vines or wines. As such, his goals and methods developed not so much from his years of schooling, but from his readings, his visiting winemakers around the world, and working in Burgundy with Jean-Marie Guffens at Verget.

After giving up the idea of buying vineyards, which was too costly a proposition for a beginner with his ambitions, he started a small négoce where he selected particularly interesting vineyard plots worked by the sincere, hard-working farmers who grew the healthy grapes he wanted to buy and vinify. He rediscovered nearly forgotten areas of ancient fame, like Brézème in the northern Côtes-du-Rhône, and nurtured relationships with people who tend their vines with passion and care. Over the years, the shift from négociant to vigneron has occurred, and today Eric owns and rents the vast majority of the vines that go into his production. He has also replanted several hectares in Brézème and in Saint-Julien en Saint-Alban with Syrah and Roussanne.

In his purely négoce days, Eric was producing 30 different wines from 10 different origins, mostly but not limited to the Northern Rhône. As a land owner and vigneron, he produces 12 different wines from four different origins, with the Côte Rotie, Rasteau and Châteauneuf du Pape the only remaining cuvées made with purchased fruit.

The wines are vinified in their areas of production, which means a lot of time management and traveling at the time of harvest. When they have obtained their AOC, the young wines are transported to Charnay-en-Beaujolais, just north of Lyon, where Eric lives and owns a wonderful élevage cellar. This beautiful underground, vaulted cellar was built in the 16th century, and temperatures stay cool and stable through the year.


Grape(s) Syrah
Farming Organic