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Wine Region: Rhone Valley - France
Grape: 100% Syrah.
Tasting notes: “Dark fruits, liquorice, subtle spices, red pepper, chocolate, woodlands, woody notes. Terre d’Encre (literally translated as ‘Lands of Ink’) is a wine worthy of its name. This dark-coloured wine is produced from 30-year-old Syrah vines planted on granite soils in the municipality of Chavanay. It presents the spicy structure and body of the estate’s fine wines.” - Christine Vernay
Expert Rating: Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 91/100.
"From a muscovite-based site above Chavanay, the 2019 Saint Joseph Terres d'Encre doesn't come across as being from a particularly hot vintage. Instead, it offers charming nuances of violets and cracked pepper set against a backdrop of just-ripe cherries. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, simultaneously tart and silky, it finishes long and mouthwatering."
About the Winery: Domaine Georges Vernay is one of the oldest and most famous estates in Condrieu. Georges highly contributed to the reintroduction of Viognier on the hillsides of the region when in 1960’s the appellation used to cover only 8 hectares.
Today the domaine is managed by Georges’ daughter Christine and her husband Paul. The vineyard covers 8 hectares in Condrieu, 2.5 hectares in Côte-Rôtie and 1.5 hectares in Saint-Joseph and the rest being located in IGP Collines Rhôdaniennes and Côtes-du-Rhône. Their Condrieu are made from vineyards in the heart of the appellation and all express the purest; most restrained expression of the Viognier grape.
For over 20 years, Christine Vernay has used organic farming methods. Considering herself as the custodian of a land for which she is responsible for caring, she has long been committed to organic farming, long before it was fashionable or urgent to do so. She has now successfully demonstrated that, while it is difficult to work the steeply sloping vineyards using organic farming, it is not impossible.
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