Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet was created in 1993 by Hervé Souhaut. His holdings on the acidic granite soils of the northern Rhône and the southern Ardèche are a mixture of new and ancient vines—from 50 to over 100 years old. Hervé works 5-hectares of these old and ancient vines, a beautiful and precious resource. He owns two vineyards in Saint-Joseph, just opposite the terraces of Hermitage. This region is, of course, legendary for the quality of its wines, thanks in part to its elevation, ancient vineyard sites, and southeastern and southern exposures. The domaine itself is located further into the hills of the northern Ardeche in the tiny town of Arlebosc, about a 30-minute drive, winding through the hills from St Joseph and the winery is underneath the 16th century “les romaneaux” fortified farm and sits in the middle of the vines that make up the Souteronne, Syrah, and white cuvées.
Souteronne is made purely from old Gamay grapes, the vines clinging to the steep stony slopes. The elevation here is over 500 m above sea level and the vines are now between 70 to 90 years old. The winemaking involves a long maceration at low temperature, without destemming and the fermented juice is matured on the fine lees, in second-hand oak casks. It is then bottled without filtration. The SO2 is less than 25mg/l when bottled. The depth of colour of this wine is sensational, and the nose billows out of the glass to reveal fresh red and dark fruits. The palate is something else – this is a truly superb Gamay with a lovely mineral edge as if granite had melted seamlessly into a wine.