2017 Aurélien Chatagnier IGP Collines Rhôdaniennes 'Crêt Louison'
Region: St. Joseph < Northern Rhone Valley < France
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; granite soils; de-stemming and fermented in fiberglass, with daily pumpovers for 3 weeks; aged 12 months in used barrels; unfined/unfiltered; 100 cases made
Winemaker: Aurélien Chatagnier
After working with several acclaimed Rhone producers, Aurélien Chatagnier struck out on his own in 2002 as a young pup in his early 20s. Starting with just over 1 hectare of rented vines, Aurélien has steadily built up an estate of almost 10 hectares by purchasing, bartering, and replanting vineyards at the Northern extreme of the Saint Joseph appellation, which produces elegant, tightly-focused reds that often have more in common with the wines of Burgundy than the Rhone. Aurélien tends towards a lean, pure style of winemaking, earning him the reputation as one of the best young winemakers in the region.
Crêt Louison is a lieu dit (single plot within a vineyard) located entirely within the AOC of St. Joseph, and while Aurélien considers it to be one of his best terroirs, it was never classified AOC Saint-Joseph because the owner had not planted vines there and was unable to request the AOC status later. The DNA of the wine, however, is pure St. Joseph – rustic, delicate but powerful, layers of cherry, black pepper, violets and cedar. A stunning wine, special enough for celebrations, but we think making it through another Groundhog day with kids at home during the eternal quarantine days is reason enough to pop it open and celebrate a random Wednesday night. Life's too short to drink shitty wine, so drink the good stuff everyday. That's our motto.