St. Joseph Les Serines
Domaine Yves Cuilleron
Cave Cuilleron is, above all, a family estate. A passion for wine has been in their genes for three generations.
For decades, the domaine has undertaken traditional, straightforward vinification. Cuilleron’s main ingredients? Hand picking of grapes, meticulous sorting in situ, alcoholic fermentation using only wild yeasts, and ageing in oak.
The business may be growing, but remains deeply attached to the traditional principles of cap-punching and open-vat pumpovers. They use no oenological products, and technology is kept to the bare minimum.
Yves articulates his vision of the terroir through the wines he makes. From plot to bottle, many decisions are required to express this vision and arrive at wines that satisfy his expectations. A Cuilleron wine bears the imprint of its terroir: it has an original character. Although a large vat room has been built, we have kept many small vats used for single-plot vinification. Although Yves seeks an overarching harmony in the range, the Cuilleron touch lends each wine its own style. They do not focus on a single cuvée and establish a hierarchy; instead, each product is bespoke – the word that best defines us.
Origin: selection of old sélection massale vines (i.e. grown from cuttings from the same vineyard), planted in south/southeast facing hillside terraces. “Les Serines” is not a district; it refers to the local name for Syrah.
Soils: granitic, shallow.
Varieties planted: syrah.
Cultivation: high-density planting (8,000-10,000 vines per hectare). No insecticides or pesticides, few treatments (depending on weather), small amount of organic-only fertiliser, with respect of soil and vine balance. Vigour and yield control, leaf-thinning and green harvesting to promote grape maturation.
Vinification: the grapes are hand-picked; and then sorted, crushed and partially destemmed in the cellar. Fermented in open, temperature-controlled vats for about 3 weeks, with regular cap-punching and pumping-over. Malolactic-fermented in barriques with native yeasts.
Maturing: 18 months in barriques.
Style: an intense complex nose of dark fruit enhanced by spice and liquorice. Clean attack, then evolving into something rich, dense and rounded on the palate. Long, mineral finish. Silky, fine-grained tannins.
Ageing: wine made for laying down; slightly hard when young. Best to wait 4-5 years, but it can also age 15 years or more.
Food match: red meats (e.g. barbecued skewers of duck breast marinated with sesame seeds).
90-92/100 - Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate
Tasting like the blood of Syrah with its liquid blackberry, violets, flowers and peppery aromas and flavorus, Yves' 2015 Saint Joseph les Serines is medium to full-bodied, seamless and silky, with high-quality tannin and a great finish. This cuvée comes from multiple terroirs and will spend 18 months in 40% new French oak.'
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