More about M. Chapoutier
The Chapoutier family can trace their history in the Rhône region back to 1808 but wine making didn’t start until 1879. It wasn’t until the late...
The Chapoutier family can trace their history in the Rhône region back to 1808 but wine making didn’t start until 1879. It wasn’t until the late 1980’s however, under the guidance of Michel Chapoutier, when the quality soared. Now, Chapoutier produces the most diverse and complex wines of the Northern Rhône.
“Michel Chapoutier is dynamic and irrepressible—his approach is damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. At age 24, he pulled aside his grandfather Marc, who owned 72 percent of the family wine company, M. Chapoutier, and said he could no longer work under the current manager, who happened to be his own father, Max. Michel would stay, but only if he was in charge. With the company struggling, Marc listened and handed control to the young man.” The Wine Spectator
He has spread production all over the Rhône region and produces wines from the best appellations such as Hermitage, Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côte-Rôtie. But, no matter the location, all wines are crafted with the uttermost attention and respect. Winemaking and vineyard management are the strictest representation of terroir and vintage, making them so profoundly diverse but still holding the Chapoutier finesse throughout.
“It means paying attention to each plot, listening to the world, the environment, anticipating the needs of the earth.” Michel Chapoutier
Not only is Chapoutier iconic for his production of wine, he was also the first wine producer to introduce braille on the label. Michel introduced this after hearing his blind friend, the singer Gilbert Montagné, explain on TV that he needed to take someone into the store with him to identify what wine to buy. This didn’t sit well with Chapoutier, so he put braille on the labels so his friend could have the enjoyment of choosing his own wine!
St Joseph and Cornas also provide wines of weight and worth, but the best source for good value is Crozes-Hermitage, a satellite appellation which has come alive in the last few years with the arrival of young blood.
The river valley widens out south of Valence into Côtes du Rhône country on the windy alluvial plains and the lower slopes of the hills. It is a most imposing sight during the cold, clear, blue skies of Mistral conditions. The best of the wine villages of the Côtes du Rhône have been promoted to their own appellations - Vinsobres, Vacqueyras - close in quality to the better known Gigondas.
The king of the southern Rhône is Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Here the galets roulés, rounded rocks from the ancient river bed, provide the context for gloriously rich red wines that are redolent of the heat and herbs of the south, and enhanced by the complexity which comes from blending several grape varieties. Thirteen are permitted in all, but Grenache usually dominates, along with Syrah and Mourvèdre in support. A fine vintage needs eight to 10 years cellaring for best results.
If your taste runs to fuller, richer, relatively exotic white wines, then perhaps a white Hermitage or Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the Rhône Valley would suit better, or else a marvellously perfumed, heady Condrieu - headquarters of the Viognier grape.
Saint Joseph is a wine appellation located in the northern Rhône region of France. It is known for producing some of the finest red wines in the world,...
Saint Joseph is a wine appellation located in the northern Rhône region of France. It is known for producing some of the finest red wines in the world, made from the Syrah grape variety. The appellation covers a total area of approximately 1,200 hectares, with vineyards planted on steep slopes overlooking the Rhône River.
The history of Saint Joseph dates back to the Roman era, when the region was known for producing high-quality wines. However, it was not until the 17th century that the appellation gained recognition for its exceptional wines. Today, Saint Joseph is considered one of the most prestigious wine appellations in France, with a reputation for producing wines of great depth, complexity, and elegance.
The style of production in Saint Joseph is traditional, with a focus on hand-harvesting and minimal intervention in the winemaking process. The vineyards are planted on granite and schist soils, which impart a unique minerality to the wines. The Syrah grape variety is the dominant grape grown in the region, although small amounts of Marsanne and Roussanne are also grown.
The typical wines from Saint Joseph are red wines made from the Syrah grape variety. These wines are known for their deep ruby color, intense aromas of black fruit, spice, and earthy notes, and a full-bodied, tannic structure. The wines are aged in oak barrels for up to 18 months, which adds complexity and depth to the wine. The best wines from Saint Joseph can age for up to 20 years, developing even more complexity and depth over time.
In recent years, there has been a growing interest in white wines from Saint Joseph, made from the Marsanne and Roussanne grape varieties. These wines are known for their floral aromas, notes of honey and citrus, and a rich, creamy texture.
Overall, Saint Joseph is a wine appellation that is steeped in history and tradition, producing some of the finest wines in the world. Its unique terroir, traditional winemaking techniques, and focus on quality have earned it a reputation as one of the most prestigious wine appellations in France.