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Christian Rouchier at work in the Luc vineyard

Christian & Martine Rouchier

VigneronChristian and Martine Rouchier
LocationSaint Jean de Muzols (Ardèche)
Size of Domaine2.5 ha
TerroirContinental climate, Mistral (northern wind) influence. Granite, gneiss and clay. Steep terraced vineyards overlooking the Rhône. 160-280m altitude.
ViticultureCertified organic (Ecocert)
View Christian & Martine Rouchier wines ↓

Christian and Martine Rouchier’s first official vintage was 2010 even though the vines, bought and planted by Christian’s father, had quenched the family’s thirst for four decades.

“I made my first wine in 2007 for fun, and then I lost my job, so I decided to become a full-time vigneron”, candidly explains Christian, a gifted autodidact who immediately embraced organic viticulture (certified in 2013), built his cellar in 2014 and planted another hectare (marsanne, viognier, syrah) in 2016 with the help of his horse.

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A rudimentary cellar
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Christian and team

This is a tiny 2.5 ha estate working with old vines planted in a mix of gneiss and clay over schist, high up on the hills above Saint-Jean-de-Muzols, a cool area with vineyards facing west and the soleil couchant.

Christian and Martine use whole bunches for the fermentation, old barrels and demi-muids (8 to 20yo), a manual basket press, and after an initial trial using no sulphur in 2014, and a larger trial in 2015, they decided their wines were stable and strong enough not to need any from 2016.

The wines have great breed and class, they are vibrant, pure and energetic, with a mineral print and great drinkability. A lot more will be heard of this extremely promising domaine (Jean Gonon does like their wines!), and for now, the wines represent outstanding value for money.

02_Vine_Trail_Christian_Rouchier_16_9 At work in the new plantings

Christian & Martine Rouchier Wines

Christian & Martine Rouchier

ST-JOSEPH 2015
Luc
100% Syrah (12.5% alc.)

This comes from just 0.5 ha of vines planted by Christian’s father in 1972 at around 250m altitude, on the hills above St-Jean-de-Muzols, in a clay soil over schist. Made from whole bunches with just 5mg/l sulphur added to give total levels of 31mg/l. Aptly described by Speciality Drinks buyer Dawn Davies as having a nose like a Fisherman’s Friend lozenge, the wine has a most attractive black forest fruit, structured, clean and pure on the palate, with amazing energy and freshness. Decanting is recommended.

Christian & Martine Rouchier

ST-JOSEPH 2016
La Chave
100% Syrah (12.5% alc.)

Christian and Martine’s top cuvée comes from 1ha of vines planted in 1958 straight onto gneiss in the lieu-dit of La Chave. The juice is naturally a little denser and firmer than Luc in the same vintage, and the wine will need a few years bottle age. Aged in old barrels with no added sulphur at any stage (although there is 26mg/l total produced naturally from fermentation), the wine offers tightly knit wild blackberries, a hint of black pepper, mineral cut with a very long finish. For drinking now to 2025.

Previous Grower ← Roucas Toumba