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St Gervais les Cadinnières Vieilles Vignes

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 Vieilles Vignes

-Predominantly Grenache
-Harvest is usually in late September
-Received Villages appellation in 1974
-105 HA in production

-Majority of vines are over 80 years old
-South facing slope
-Soil composition of decomposed limestone clay and gravel

Vintage Notes


Wines  The Les Cadinnieres, made from 80 year old Grenache vines, is a dark ruby-garnet color, dense on the palette and seems to go on forever. This full-bodied wine benefits from decanting, offers aromas of sweet fruit (blueberry, black currant), spice and provincial herbs. This wine will easily age 2-6 years but once opened, it is best to finish, as the Les Cadinnieres doesn't show as well the second day.
Grapes with morning dew   

Vineyards   Éric's Les Cadinnieres vineyard is located between the town of Saint Gervais and the hamlet of Les Cellettes on a south-facing hillside. From the vineyard, one has a vast view of the southern Rhône River basin. The gobelet-trained vines are planted 4000 per hectare.

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 red clay soil consists of decomposed limestone from the Mesozoic era and it becomes a more gravely soil as it approaches the plateau.

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


St Gervais les Cadinnières Vieilles Vignes 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. There was a high sugar content very early in September but the grapes had not reached phenolic ripeness therefore we waited until the third week of September to harvest.

The ruby red 2001 is even darker than 2000 and features a big fruity nose of black currant, cassis and blueberry combined with provincial herbs and mineral hints.


Blend: Predominantly Grenache
Alcohol: 13% by volume


Suggested Aging: 2 to 6 years
Cases Produced: 1,000


© 2003 Éric Texier