Éric Texier is a vigneron, and I think we dare say a legendary one too. He came from another career, but systematic studies and observation of the ways of many sustainable winemakers made him ready to chose his own paths. He is one of the protagonists, a hero so to speak, in Alice Feiring’s book Naked wine. Whenever she is in doubt about what to do in her natural wine project she thinks to herself, «what would Éric have done?»
His major concern is the soil. The winemaking is very minimalist, with native yeast fermentation, often in concrete, no fining, no destemming (for reds), ageing in concrete and big foudres, addition of SO2 only occasionally and only in minute quantities.
He makes wines from several places in the Rhône valley and in the Mâconnais area. This one is from Cairanne, one of the four original Côte du Rhône villages, that sits on a hilltop overlooking vineyards.
The first vinification period always takes place in the local viticulture area, meaning different cellars according to each wine. During the next phase the wines are aged in the same naturally cool cellar built in the XVIII th century in the north of Lyon. The wines are primarily aged in traditional oak barrels, though some large casks are also used. The use of new oak is limited in order to allow the wines to fully express the terroir.
Éric Texier’s production covers a range of 20 different wines, each offering a unique and distinctive character, all carefully hand crafted in order to allow maximum care and enjoyment.
One of the oldest villages in the Vaucluse, Cairanne has long been fought over because of its strategic position, and traces of its fortification are still present today.
The grape composition is grenache 80%, carignan 10% and syrah 10%. They were picked by hand, natural yeasts were then employed, then a spontaneous fermentation that lasted for a long time.
Cairanne Côtes-du-Rhône Village 2013 (É. Texier)
Dark red. Aromas of dark, ripe fruits, blueberry, some spice. Slightly warm, luscious, well balanced wine with some tannin and a nice acidity.
It takes a village to raise a child, they say. Now take this Village.
[…] Éric Texier’s Chat Fou (Crazy Cat) is a long time favourite, now in the 2014 vintage. This time we ended with this lovely unfiltered Côtes du Rhône, with its blend of 50% grenache, the rest a mix of four other Rhône grapes, including the white marsanne and rousanne. It was the darkest wine of the lunch, but still deliciouis, luscious summer drinking – yet concentrated and with a hint of spices. Éric isn’t one who uses many tricks to make his wines darker, fatter, more tannic… On the contrary his minimal intervention philosophy seems to maintain a perfect balance in his wines. […]