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A Drink From The Porron

Nicolas Badel's two cuvées of Saint-Joseph

Nicolas Badel is not one to rush into things. Having trained in engineering, he is methodical to a fault, testing new things incrementally until he feels completely comfortable committing. He spent nearly 10 years farming his Saint-Joseph vineyards - selling the grapes to the coop - before he felt ready to estate-bottle his wine.

With this in mind, it is hardly surprising that it has taken him this long to separate out his two Saint-Joseph parcels. Since he began estate bottling in 2009, the two parcels were blended together. Each year before blending, he would taste the wines from both parcels extensively with colleagues and friends, analyzing and discussing their differences and the relative merits of blending versus separating. Finally, with the 2014 vintage he decided that the wines were distinct enough to each merit their own bottling.

We are happy to be able to offer both cuvées now: Montrond and Les Mourrays. The vineyard sites are fairly similar - both are on the plateau above the village of Limony, in the northern end of the appellation, at around 300m elevation, with pebbly granite soils. The main factor that differentiates the two sites is vine age: 15-25 years for Montrond, 50+ years for Les Mourrays. This difference in vine age translates to lower yields in Les Mourrays, which in turn produces a wine with greater depth and concentration. Montrond, in contrast, offers more of a bright, juicy expression of Syrah.

Certified organic, fermented in concrete vats with native yeasts, aged in used barrels, and with no sulfur used during vinification, these wines provide two pure expressions of Saint-Joseph Syrah.