I cannot tell you just how tempting it is to describe François Merlin as a magician in the cellar. But this would be lazy. Not to mention inaccurate. There’s no trickery here – just decades of determination, raw talent and hard graft.
As Merlin approaches retirement, his domaine can now be considered among the top tier of northern Rhône producers. This is an extraordinary achievement, as he started out with nothing. In Côte-Rôtie and Condrieu, his might prove to be the last generation of winemakers to achieve this feat.