Type: Saint-Joseph Les Granits Blanc
Grape Variety Used: 100% Marsanne
Alcohol Level: 14%
Length/Type of Fermentation: The grapes are hand harvested once very ripe. The natural degree of alcohol is above 12.5% volume. Light cold racking for 24 hours. Fermentation of half of the wine in vats and the other half in casks.
Length/Type of Aging: Aging takes place on lees for 8 to 10 months
Unlike Burgundy and Bordeaux, the Rhône does not have an official cru (vineyard) classification system. There are, however, lieux-dits, “named places” or place names that denote vineyard sites and plots within each appellation. Chapoutier owns some of the most famous plots in the Rhône, including 34 hectares within the tiny Hermitage appellation. This collection of highly sought after wines is coined “Selections Parcellaires”. These exceptional wines are created organically and biodinamically and imported to the United States once per year.
In Saint Joseph, as in Hermitage, elevated soils of high granite composition give both Syrah and Marsanne a unique style in an otherwise simpler, broader appellation. The hill above Tournon, the village across the Rhône from Tain, is almost as steep as Hermitage itself, though not so south-facing. Consequently, the vines are very low-yielding, and the wines are able to express place more clearly than the average wine of the appellation. Small plots of 2.4 and 2.3 hectares of 60-80 year old vines of Syrah and 60+ year old vines of Marsanne yield 400 and 900 cases respectively of each of the Les Granits Rouge and Blanc.