About this WINE
Domaine Eric & Joel Durand
The Durand brothers, Eric and Joël, joined forces in 1996 to devote the polycultural family business to the cultivation of grapes. The Domaine is based in Châteaubourg in the Ardèche and covers twenty hectares, with Syrah, Marsanne and Roussanne farmed over the appellations of Cornas, St Peray and St Joseph in addition to the IGP des Collines Rhodanienes.
Their outstanding Viognier is farmed at an altitude of 450 metres, its south-facing granitic vineyards located above the village of Mauves. With cold stabilisation and only 20% of the must fermented in This outstanding Viognier is farmed at an altitude of 450 metres, its south-facing granitic vineyards located above the village of Mauves.
The St Joseph wine is sourced on the granitic slopes in the south of the appellation, close to Cornas and is matured for eighth months, mainly in large vats (6000 litres) but with a small percentage nurtured in cement tank.
Cornas is a small appellation, just 150 hectares, located south of St Joseph. It’s on the west side of the river. The name “Cornas” comes from an old Celtic dialect term, meaning “burnt land”, so it’s no surprise that on the steep terraces here, facing south, temperatures are significantly higher than those in Hermitage, which is just 7km away.
The granite soils are home to the Syrah grape, producing reds that sit somewhere between those of Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. These are strong and powerful wines, with nervy acidity and a robust, rustic charm to them. Their prominent tannins mean that they often demand time in the cellar to express their underlying elegance and complexity.
A noble black grape variety grown particularly in the Northern Rhône where it produces the great red wines of Hermitage, Cote Rôtie and Cornas, and in Australia where it produces wines of startling depth and intensity. Reasonably low yields are a crucial factor for quality as is picking at optimum ripeness. Its heartland, Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, consists of 270 hectares of steeply terraced vineyards producing wines that brim with pepper, spices, tar and black treacle when young. After 5-10 years they become smooth and velvety with pronounced fruit characteristics of damsons, raspberries, blackcurrants and loganberries.
It is now grown extensively in the Southern Rhône where it is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to produce the great red wines of Châteauneuf du Pape and Gigondas amongst others. Its spiritual home in Australia is the Barossa Valley, where there are plantings dating as far back as 1860. Australian Shiraz tends to be sweeter than its Northern Rhône counterpart and the best examples are redolent of new leather, dark chocolate, liquorice, and prunes and display a blackcurrant lusciousness.
South African producers such as Eben Sadie are now producing world- class Shiraz wines that represent astonishing value for money.