Éric Texier > The Wines > Southern Rhône > St Gervais

CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES
St Gervais

Wine has been made around Saint Gervais from at least the 17th century and in 1789 a local aristocrat, the Marquis de Guasc, was even reported to bottle his own wine (very industrious for those days). Sadly his bottling didn't last long for he soon ended up on the guillotine.

Locals argue that wine has been made here for much longer because the site of the Saint Gervais church is said to have been a temple dedicated to Jupiter. According to myth, Bacchus, the God of wine, sprang from Jupiter's thigh.

  St Gervais

-Blend of Grenache, Carignan and Syrah
-Harvest is usually late September
-Received Villages appellation in 1974
-105 HA in production

-Majority of vines are over 25 years old
-Grenache and Carignan soil is decomposed limestone clay and gravel
- Syrah soil is alluvial limestone and sand

Vintage Notes

 

Wines  Éric's Saint Gervais, a blend of 25 year old Grenache vines, 30 year old Carignan vines and 10 year old Syrah vines, is a cherry-red color and offers aromas of provincial spice and red fruit. A nice balance of tannins to acid this nicely fruity wine can easily be enjoyed for 2-4 years.
 
Checking Sugar Levels   
 

Vineyards   The Grenache and Carignan vineyard are located in les Cellettes. The Syrah vineyard is located on a sandy flat near the Cèze.

Terroir  Saint Gervais, in the Gard département, is bordered to the North by the out hills of the Ardèche and sits in a small valley carved by the river Cèze along an ancient fault. Located 5 km northwest of Bagnols-sur-Cèze, it is the most western village of the 16 Côtes du Rhône Villages. The soil found in the Grenache Vineyard is a red clay soil consisting of decomposed limestone from the Mesozoic era and it becomes a more gravely soil as it approaches the plateau. The alluvial soil found in the Syrah vineyard is consists of decomposed limestone and siliceous.

With the Ardèche to the north and the Cèze to the south the Mediterranean mesoclimate in the vineyard is moderated so that during the summer the vineyards are much cooler than normal for the Southern Rhône which results in a later than average harvest.


Côtes du Rhône Villages  In 1953 four villages in the Southern Rhône were making wines considered to be of higher quality than those usually produced under the generic Côtes du Rhône label. These four villages - Cairanne, Laudun, Chusclan and Gigondas were not considered to be ready for full appellation status (like those of Châteauneuf du Pape, Côte Rotie, Hermitage, etc.) but were certainly superior to the many Côtes du Rhône wines produced. Therefore the INAO (National Institute of Appellations of Origin) decided that if these villages followed agreed upon rules they would create a new status to identify their higher quality wines. Rules were laid out that governed grape varieties, yields per hectare and the minimum alcohol strength of their red wines raised from 11% to 12.5%. Producers following these rules were then allowed to market their wine as Côtes du Rhône - "Cairanne" for example and therefore to promote the distinctive characteristics of their local terroir. After two additional villages joined this illustrious group (Vacqueyras in 1955 and Vinsobres in 1957) a common title was created in 1967 to apply to all of the wines: Côtes du Rhône Villages. Today there are 16 villages with this status

 

CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES
St Gervais 2001

2001 began with a mild winter that was followed by a warm and wet spring with above average temperatures. Flowering started towards the beginning of May and June and July continued to be warm with heavy rainfall in July. August was hot and dry with temperatures reaching 33°C resulting in the grapes reaching a good maturity. September brought le mistral, which continued for nearly 2 weeks. Harvest commenced in mid September and we finished the Carignan in late September.

 

Blend: 60% Grenache 30% Carignan and 10% Syrah
Alcohol: 13% by volume

 

Suggested Aging: 2 to 4 years
Cases Produced: 1,000

 

 

© 2003 Éric Texier