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Walls: Discovering St-Joseph estate Martine & Christian Rouchier

Matt Walls visits the domaine of Martine & Christian Rouchier in St-Joseph and reflects on how Old World traditions have shaped the vineyards of today.

A couple of weeks ago, I was looking up at some terraced vineyards in St-Joseph with an Australian friend. He remarked that he’d never seen a steep vineyard like this in his home country.

Who could afford to rip out the trees, build the access roads, construct the terraces, and plant the vines, without being certain beforehand that the resulting wine could be sold at prices high enough to recoup the investment?

It might not be the most romantic way of looking at it. But that’s the modern reality.

In the oldest regions of the Old World, tradition and history give us stories, methods, and a sense of belonging – all of which are priceless. But these deep-rooted traditions also protect and deliver the actual vineyards themselves – some of which, like the vineyards of St-Joseph, would never get built today.

And there are vineyards in these ancient wine regions that create surprising and delicious wine by chance – happy accidents that make these places so peculiar and fascinating.

Scroll down for tasting notes and scores of 10 Martine & Christian Rouchier wines

Take Christian Rouchier’s Puat vineyard. It’s 80% Syrah, 20% Chasselas.

See Matt’s tasting notes and scores for 10 Martine & Christian Rouchier wines:

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