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Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet: Hervé Souhaut
Natural wine

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Country: France

Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet is a producer of some of the most interesting natural wines currently being produced in France. Here Hervé Souhaut crafts wines of considerable complexity and elegance from vines that include some that are 100 years old.
His vineyards span the St Joseph, St Epine and Ardèche Vin de Pays appellations. We are particularly keen on the Syrah from the Ardèche which undergoes a long maceration at low temperatures. It is left on lees and bottled without filtering although we rarely detect much sediment in the bottle. Andrew Guard, who imports Hervé's wines into Australia describes this wine much better than we can:
" this gem has one of the most explosive noses I have experienced in quite some time. Violets, fresh coffee (but no oak used), black cherry and wet stone all interplay nicely as they billow out of the glass. The palate echoes the aroma however deep black cherry, cool plum and fresh strawberry flavours dominate. The tannins that gradually frame the finish are in the featherweight division and only serve to highlight the vibrant components this stellar Syrah possesses."
We drank this wine at the lovely Enoteca in Gertrude St, Melbourne. It was amazing to have a Syrah for lunch and to walk away without feeling the effects due to the low level of alcohol and the elegance of the wine.
We also like the Vin de Pays de l'Ardeche La Souteronne which is made from Gamay vines that are between 60 to 80 years old even though the domaine was founded in 1993. The quality of this wine belies the status of Vin de Pays.
On a recent trip to Paris we thoroughly enjoyed another of Hervé Souhaut's wonderful wines. This time it was the Saint Epine from the northern Rhone that we teamed with a dish of roast chicken with morels at Le Bistrot Paul Bert.
Herve Souhart has recently begun producing a range of wines with René-Jean Dard from the famous Dard et Ribo team. We tried the Foufoune Crozes-Hermitage Syrah at Marlow & Sons in Brooklyn recently and it was everything we have come to expect from these two stars of the natural wine movement.
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