Emmanuel Darnaud - Crozes-Hermitage

A young man with a bright future, Emmanuel Darnaud is well on the road toward making a strong name for himself as one of the most talented young winemakers to emerge from this appellation in the last handful of years, as acknowledged by leading Rhone Valley wine guru John Livingstone-Learmonth and certainly by anyone who has tasted his remarkable wines. His wine making education came at the foot of the best, noted Hermitage producer Bernard Faurie, where Emmanuel spent 4 years alongside the artisan vigneron.

winemakingHe started out with just 1.5 hectares and in 2001 produced his first vintage. Joli Vin was afforded the honor of purchasing 10 cases from that vintage which we gladly accepted. Fortunately, the domaine has grown in size and as of 2015, with the addition of a single Saint Joseph parcel belonging to now father-in law Bernard Faurie, currently stands at 15 hectares, mostly scattered about the southern sector of the appellation, including the areas of La Roche de Glun, Pont de L'Isère, and Mercurol. This area is notable for its presence of alluvial stones in the vineyards, not unlike those found in Châteauneuf du Pape further to the south, with pockets of brown clay subsoil underneath, making for supple, round, fruit driven wines. Taking advantage of each of these distinct parcels, each vinified separately, he is able to craft two unique cuvées which draw on the individual strengths of each parcel.

For Emmanuel, no small detail of the winemaking process goes ill-considered. A visit to his domaine, a walk along side him in the vineyards attests to this fact. From his meticulous leaf management favoring maximum aeration and exposure, to alternating the growth of cover grasses from row to row, allowing him to reduce the footprint of heavy machinery, he gives appreciation to the notion that great wines have their start in the vineyard. In the cuverie, he is equally attentive, matching the precise fermentation technique, aging and end vineyard practicesuse of each parcel in accord with its inherent identity. His fruit is 100% destemmed, loaded in tank and then chilled down for a cold pre-fermentation, the duration of which he determines in consideration of the vintage. Foot-crushings each day in each tank during the three week fermentations as is desired by the parcel. Nothing is done by rote here but uniquely as the winemaker senses is called for with each new vintage. Since setting out on his own, Darnaud has emerged as a maker of brightly fruited, compact wines with a seductive, haunting bouquet that clearly sets him in a class apart from his contemporaries.

Regions

France

Beaujolais
Burgundy
Champagne
Montagne de Reims Emmanuel Brochet Côte des Bars Domaine Marie Courtin Valleé de la Marne Flavien Nowack
Southwest
Côtes du Marmandais Élian Da Ros
Jura
Languedoc
Terrasses du Larzac Domaine du Pas de L’Escalette Saint Chinian Domaine Rimbert
Loire
Provence
Rhône
Crozes Hermitage

Saint JosephThe Saint Joseph bottling is from a single, 1 hectare parcel which goes by the name “La Dardouille” or roughly translated as the blazing sun…

Crozes-Hermitage, Mis en Bouche Being his more quaffable, younger vine, earlier to drink, fruitier, gift to the locals, Emmanuel prefers to keep this cuvee closer to home…

Crozes-Hermitage, Les Trois ChenesThe name comes from one of the six parcels (seven for 2007) which compose this wine, upon which can be found the three distinguishing oak trees which stand out and identify this vineyard.