Joli Vin imports
Domaine Sérol - Côte Roannaise
Drive about 50 km west of Lyon in southeastern France and you cross the Loire River and enter the city of Roanne. Continue due west another 10 km and you climb toward the picturesque town of Renaison and the center of one of the Loire’s least known wine appellations, the Côte Roannaise, and one of its youngest as well, awarded AC status in 1994. Renaison lies midway along a stretch of east facing hills, the Monts de la Madeleine, which sit upon a vein of granite and provide the foundation for this, the second most southern of appellations in the Loire Valley wine growing region. With vineyards between 350 and 450 m, the vineyards lie well above the damp weather found lower down in the plain while the hills to the west offer protection from the weather systems which moving toward the east, just as the Vosges mountains offer the vineyards of Alsace a similar shelter. There is not a lot of surface planted to the vine here, only about 200 hectares, and the wine produced can be rustic, but the granite based soils provide a natural companion for these Gamay based wines and the best can rival Cru Beaujolais not far to the east and even borrow something from the granite infused wines of the Northern Rhône.
It is here, looking down over the great plains to the east, that one finds Domaine Sérol, passed from father to son through 5 generations and dating back to the 18th century. While it is patriarch Robert Sérol who began to bottle on the estate in 1971 and created the domaine in its current configuration, since 2000 it is the husband/wife team of Stéphane and Carine Sérol who manage the domaine and these 24 hectares of vines, ranging from 5 to 80 years.
The production here is almost entirely devoted to Gamay Saint Romain, issued from a variety of high elevation parcels and exposures, planted at the same density as one finds in Burgundy. As such, the domaine is able to keep yields low and quality high. It’s a vineyard management philosophy that encourages vines to grow their root systems deep and enhances the character of the fruit. Since 2005 the domaine is certified by Terra Vitis as practicing “Agriculture Raisonée” and as of 2016, the entirety of the domaine is in converstion to organic certification with Ecocert.
In the cellar, Stéphane has built on the successes of his father and continues to push quality higher. All the parcels are now vinified separately allowing for the greatest expression of each individual parcel and he has expanded single parcels bottlings paying respect to the unique character of those parcels. Employing native yeast, fermentations are done with varying amounts of whole cluster allowing for a cooler fermentation temperatures preserving fresh fruit flavors and adding a thread of minerality and spice that weaves through the wines. The wines crafted here capture all of the charming pleasures of Gamay and set the standard for what the wines from this little know appellation are capable of achieving.
TurbullentA most exceptionally difficult wine to resist. A mist of of freshly crushed strawberry fruit and rose petals literally jump from the glass.
CabochardDelicate pink color and aromas of freshly cut strawberry and watermellon with a kiss of lemon. Precise and energetic.
Eclat de GraniteEclat de Granite strikes an exquisite balance between dark hued fruit and mineral tension creating a conversation in the glass which is as compelling as it is seductive.
OudanThe the dark fruit palate makes one think of Syrah and the mineral tension draws ones palate toward the mineral infused wines of Saint Joseph.