100% Syrah. Hervé Souhaut created his now cult winery, Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet in 1993. Hervé works 5-hectares of old and ancient vines—between 50 to 100 years old. He is very fortunate to own two vineyards in the Rhône Valley just opposite the storied hills of Hermitage in Saint Joseph. This is the true, traditional region of Saint Joseph, not the expanded flatlands that came later. The winery is underneath the 16th century “les romaneaux” fortified farm and sits in the middle of the vines that make up the some of his best wines. Hervé works entirely on whole grape bunches and semi-carbonic maceration. His philosophy is natural and to extract a delicate balance of tannins from the grapes, to make a wine with subtlety and finesse, but we must say his wines have such a fantastic level of purity and acidity that they can last for decades. Les Cessieux is a study of Hervé’s use of finesse in what would traditionally have made a powerful and brooding wine since the soil for this site is very rocky with little soft soil. The classic elements of Northern Rhone Syrah, dark red fruits and savory elements of bacon fat are present, but they are subtle in comparison with the floral aromas jumping out of the glass. Pick up as many bottles as you can because very little of Souhaut’s wines make it stateside!