Welcome to Éric Texier Wines

Éric Texier Wines come from three distinguished French wine regions, each with a long and remarkable history of winemaking: Mâconnais, Northern Rhône and Southern Rhône. Each wine is carefully hand crafted in order to allow for the expression of the terroir and to maximize your enjoyment.

 

 

2002 Vintage - A note from Éric

The 2002 vintage will long remain in our collective memories here in the Rhône Valley. After a moderate summer the grapes were ripening on schedule and the cellar was prepared for the start of vendange (harvest). Then during the night of September 8, only a few days before harvest would have started, the rains came. In 36 hours the Southern Rhône Valley received the equivalent of a years worth of rain. There were serious floods in the Gard (which includes several Côtes du Rhône Villages) and in the western Vaucluse (Châteauneuf du Pape). Where the rains did not completely destroy the 2002 vintage it made the conditions very difficult for the grapes that were just about to reach maturity.

Coffee Break
A much needed rest after completing the harvest at Brézème.
 

So we had two choices. We could harvest immediately to avoid having rot in the vineyard. But the maturity of the grapes was still far from satisfactory. Or we could wait for the grapes to reach the maturity that is essential to produce quality wines. The latter would mean taking a substantial risk and perhaps loosing a huge amount of the harvest to rot. I chose to preserve the quality of our wines; sacrificing the quantity we will be able to offer our customers. But we were lucky. Because our vines are mostly on steep hillsides at higher elevations and produce lower yields, the majority of our grapes remained healthy. And the last weeks of September brought le mistral, many cool nights (as low as 12°C) and bright sunshine during the days - the best possible conditions.

This year we practiced a double sort. We first sorted in the vineyard, leaving many bunches on the ground. While leaving the grapes is truly heartbreaking, it will ensure the quality of my 2002 wines. We then sorted again at the winery using our sorting table (that works like a treadmill) on the slowest setting with up to 7 sorters. I had to double my harvest team to handle the slower pace and additional steps but seeing the preliminary results I think it was well worth it. The intensified sorting has, of course, reduced the quantity we can produce and there were some vineyards where no amount of sorting could have provided me quality grapes. For example, I regret to tell you that we will not have the Brézème Vieilles Vignes nor the Brézème Roussanne in 2002 because in these vineyards we simply did not have the required quality of grapes. But hopefully the 2002 Rhône wines we do produce, even if in smaller quantities, will be of the same quality you expect from Éric Texier wines.

In Châteauneuf du Pape, we are very pleased with our early results. The 2002 red Châteauneuf du Pape will largely be made of Grenache from La Crau which was picked ripe (and without rot) at 25 Brix. The 2002 white Châteauneuf du Pape, which this year will be a blend of Clairette and Bourboulenc, will be unique with complex flavors resulting from exceptional nôble rot on the Clairette. In fact, this is the first year we have seen nôble rot in Châteauneuf. And vineyards like Séguret and Vaison la Romaine, where ripening occurs later, did not suffer from the rains and they benefited from the beautiful days at the end of the month, allowing us to finish harvest on a high note. So, with the arrival of October, vendange is finished in the Rhône Valley and after spending 12 to 15 days fermenting with their skins we have begun pressing the Reds.

  Basket Press
Saint Véran grapes in the basket press.

Further North in the Mâconnais it is an entirely different story. The 2002 vendange has been wonderfully easy and I am very pleased with the results. In fact this year the first vineyard we picked was the Mâcon Bussières Très Vieilles Vignes on the 14th of September. The younger Bussières vines soon followed with Saint Veran on the same day and we finished up the Mâconnais (excepting the late harvest) with the Pouilly Fuissé on the 28th of September. So the Chardonnays are now fermenting in their barrels here in my cool cellar.

In spite of the difficult weather, our hard work in the vineyards and in the winery is paying off. Because we were fortunate with our terroir, have only picked by hand and practiced double sorting, we have high hopes for making quality wines. Today I have confidence in our 2002 vintage, and even though a smaller quantity from the Rhône, it will be of the same quality that I bring to you each year with Éric Texier Wines

Best,

Éric

 

 

The Wines

Mâconnais: Mâcon Bussières | Mâcon Bussières Très Vieilles Vignes | Mâcon Bussières "Botrytis" | Saint Véran | Pouilly Fuissé Vieilles Vignes | Nôble Rot

Northern Rhône: Côte Rôtie Vieilles Vignes | Condrieu | Condrieu Janrode | Saint Joseph | Hermitage | Brézème | Brézème Vieilles Vignes | Brézème Roussanne

Southern Rhône: Châteauneuf du Pape | Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc | Séguret Vieilles Vignes | Cairanne | Sablet Vieilles Vignes Rosé de Clairette | Sablet Vieilles Vignes Rouge | St. Gervais | St. Gervais les Cadinnières Vieilles Vignes | Chusclan | Laudun | Vaison la Romaine Côtes du Rhône Villages | Côtes du Rhône | Côtes du Rhône Viognier

 

 

© 2003 Éric Texier