Is this Middle Earth? Nope! This is the Isere... (living.wine)

Winegrowing in the Isere, Part 1: Antoine Depierre of Domaine Mayoussier

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**Wines in today's offer arrive 8/12**

There aren’t many winemakers in the Isère who sell their bottles internationally. And the most well known producers that do are focused on reviving and promoting the historically important grapes of the region, like Verdesse and Persan. However, the geographical isolation of vineyards and wineries have allowed innovative thinkers like Antoine Depierre to plant vines that aren’t thought of (or officially recognized) as Alpine.

The photo above was snapped two months after Antoine planted this beautiful vineyard in the French Alps. He had only just started Domaine Mayoussier. What were little shrubs in 2013 are healthy Syrah vines today. This afternoon, we're happy to offer the 2019 Syrah made from their fruit.

In the glass, the color is a lighter red, with highlights of violet. The nose has fantastic fruit, showing a medley of raspberry, strawberry, and blueberry. An accent of savory cinnamon and a dash of zingy black minerals adds a lift to the denser aromas of forest berries. On the palate, slim and zesty fruits like cassis and cherry are the base for herbaceous mint and black pepper. Not a very tannic wine, it is successfully hinged to a core of great fruit and lovely acidity, and structurally softens on the tongue during a long finish.

The top of Vercors sits between Grenoble and Domaine Mayoussier. Antoine calls Vercors "the identity" the his winery.

Separating Grenoble and the domaine's commune of Auberives-en-Royans is the jagged northern section of Vercors, a national park that covers 500,000-plus acres between the Isère and the neighboring area of Diois to the south. It's nicknamed "the Limestone Citadel'' for its sheer cliffs and pillars of rock. Antoine is alone here - the next vineyard is more than 20 miles away. This hideaway is perfect for a winemaker who desperately wants to be allowed to work his own way.

Antoine Depierre opening bottles at home (living.wine)

I had a phone call with Antoine recently and asked why he planted Sauvignon Blanc in his isolated fields near the Vercor. He gave me a surprising answer, though the most reasonable of any: “I like it.” Throughout his career in high-end hospitality and wine, which took him to cities like London, Berlin, and Dubai, he developed a taste for the grape, whether from South Africa, New Zealand, or the Loire. But it was also a business decision. Although his family has owned this property since the early 1800s, he didn't know as much about the local grapes as he did about international ones, and to be able to confidently sell wines for his new business, it made sense to grow what he was most interested and versed in. For bureaucratic reasons, he must label his 2019 Culotte de Mayoussier as Vin de France due to its use of Sauvignon Blanc alongside the accepted Roussanne, but that doesn’t bother Antoine. “It’s not a big deal,” he said. And he probably feels this way because the wine is fantastic. 

The color is a glimmering yellow with flashes of green. The nose is fragrant, with ripe pear and yellow apple supporting softer, loose smells of moss, mountain air, and green tea. The palate is rather spicy, with a zip of green pepper, salt, and milled white pepper, before gaining weight on the finish and showing flavors of roasted orchard fruits. The wine has engaging, crunchy minerality and great acidity.

According to a blog post by Roland Benedetti of Living Wine, a friend of the shop and importer of Domaine Mayoussier, Antoine uses no machines in his fields, opting instead to use horses. He farms organically, without pesticides, and harvests by hand. Although this is still a small operation (with roughly 9000 bottles produced a year), Antoine says he is getting to a point financially where he is ready to start new projects. This includes taking a step back and putting some focus on the local grapes, like Persan, that he initially left alone.

I have so much to say about Antoine and Domaine Mayoussier but unfortunately I had to abbreviate or keep back very insightful parts of his story for the sake of making this email straighfoward and readable. He is an obviously complex man, with a lot of pride, and I struggled to wrangle all his personality and skill into a coherent description. Believe me, I tried for hours yesterday... Luckily, we have his delicious wines, products of his daring independence and of his strong beliefs, to give us a good sense of his mission. In the end, I think Antoine is the perfect winemaker for this intense land on the edge of the Vecors. He's thoughtful and ambitious enough to handle it. David Hatzopoulos

Looking forward to featuring you again soon, Antoine! (living.wine)

Domaine Mayoussier 2019 Auberives-en-Royans VDF Culotte de Mayoussier

"This is a dry white wine from a blend of Sauvignon and Roussanne. As much as Roussanne is common in the north Rhone and in Savoie (there under the name of Bergeron), cultivating Sauvignon Blanc is unheard of, hence the name of the wine – le culotté, which means “cheeky”. Antoine told us the many struggles he faced with the administration to be able to grow and produce wine from this variety in this area. Harvested by hand, the wine is unfined and unfiltered, vinified and aged on lees in stainless steel tanks for six months." - Roland Benedetti, owner of Living Wine

The color is a glimmering yellow with flashes of green. The nose is fragrant, with ripe pear and yellow apple supporting softer, loose smells of moss, mountain air, and green tea. The palate is rather spicy, with a zip of green pepper, salt, and milled white pepper, before gaining weight on the finish and showing flavors of roasted orchard fruits. The wine has engaging, crunchy minerality and great acidity.  David Hatzopoulos

  • white
  • 1 in stock
  • $32.99

  • Organic
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Domaine Mayoussier 2019 Auberives-en-Royans Isere Syrah

Syrah planted on the outskirts of Vercors in the Isere of the French Alps. Land is worked with organic methods by hospitality professional turned winemaker, Antoine Depierre. After two weeks of fermentation the wine ages in neutral barriques.  In the glass, the color is a lighter red, with highlights of violet. The nose has fantastic fruit, showing a medley of raspberry, strawberry, and blueberry. An accent of savory cinnamon and a dash of zingy black minerals adds a lift to the denser aromas of forest berries. On the palate, slim and zesty cassis and cherry are the base for herbaceous mint and black pepper. Not a very tannic wine, it is successfully hinged to a core of great fruit and lovely acidity, and structurally softens on the tongue during a long finish. David Hatzopoulos

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $34.99

  • Organic