Eric Texier Brezeme Roussanne 2020
Brézème is a small viticultural area 18 kilometers south of Valence. Like Hermitage and Crozes-Hermitage, Brézème sits on the eastern side of the Rhône but in the Ardèche, a less celebrated but increasingly, thanks to Téxier, a quality-driven growing area which includes many old vines. The soils are notably rich in limestone. His parcel of Roussanne is a southwest-facing clos, a true walled vineyard, with the biodynamically-farmed vines averaging 25 years old. For the Brézème Côtes-du-Rhône, Eric uses the youngest of them, planted in 2009. The fruit is hand-harvested and fermented as whole clusters with native yeasts in concrete tanks; the wine is also aged in concrete tank and bottled with only 30mg/liter of sulfur at bottling.
Eric was born in Bordeaux in 1961 and has lived in or around Lyon since 1979. He was originally trained as a material scientist and spent a year studying at the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 1990, after years working in the leisure and nuclear industries, he decided to make a career of his true passion - wine.
In 1992, Éric went back to Bordeaux to formally study viticulture and oenology at Bordeaux University. When he finished he worked with Jean-Marie Guffens at Verget. Guffens, who above all respected the terroir and strived to make wines reflecting the terroir, taught Éric to use the lees to enhance the wine's natural flavors rather than discard them as byproducts of winemaking. He also taught to embrace the botrytis affected grapes to produce superbly concentrated sweet wines. And it was there that Éric developed the abilities to determine the vigneron's viticulture practices and to only buy from growers who had respected the terroir and used minimal intervention into the natural life cycle (generally organic principles of little to no herbicides, no machines, etc.).
Applying old world traditions and experience with the new world's freedom Éric made his first wine in 1995. He began in the Maconnais (a department in the Bourgogne region) and soon expanded to the Nôrthern Rhône which lead him still further south to the many Côte du Rhône villages and finally to Chateauneuf du Pape.
Today Éric produces approximately 25 unique wines each year that can be found in more than 10 countries around the world.
Typically thought of as a baby Chateâuneuf-du-Pape, the term Côtes du Rhône actually doesn’t merely apply to the flatter outskirts of the major southern Rhône appellations, it also includes the fringes of well-respected northern Rhône appellations. White wines can be produced under the appellation name, but very little is actually made.
The region offers some of the best values in France and even some first-rate and age-worthy reds. Red wine varieties include most of the Chateâuneuf-du-Pape varieties like Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Counoise, as well as Carignan. White grapes grown include Grenache blanc, Roussanne and Viognier, among others.
Full and silky in body but also charmingly crisp, Roussanne is native to the Rhône Valley of France. It is responsible for some of the finest Northern Rhône white wines. Roussanne adds richness and acidity to Marsanne’s soft, fruitiness, making age worthy and highly respected whites. Somm Secret—Roussanne takes its name from the French word, roux, meaning rouge or red because of the berry’s pink glow. In California, virtually all of the 339 acres of Roussanne come from true clones brought over by Tablas Creek and John Alban.