One of my favorite wine farmers, Hervé Souhaut in the Ardèche, seems to consistently have beautiful wine. I have not had La Souteronne for a couple of years and I was psyched. From the first swirl and sniff I was enchanted and happy…wonderful aromas. The nose is vibrant–animal, mineral, vegetable and dark fruit. It sings terroir. The color is a soft cloudy garnet.
And the palate is bright, high-toned, hard dark cherry candy with a bit of a zip, maybe some perlant. Then some earth and twigs do a little dance and wet rocks add another dimension. The acidity is not overbearing but balances things nicely. A lacy branchy texture gently surrounds it all. With some air something floral is evident, perhaps rose petals. A nice little roughness toward the back of the mouth gives it a bit of seriousness, but this is a pure pleasure wine. It has a dynamic nature, changing and evolving moment to moment.
The gamay grapes for this wine come from 60-80 year old vines planted on schist, whole cluster fermentation, raised in used barrels which Hervé gets from Dard and Ribo. This wine is unfiltered. It is a multi-dimensional snapshot of the Ardèche in a bottle.
The occasion for consuming this bottle was Halloween brunch at an East Village restaurant, GG’s. The food was a magnificent pizza. Three cheeses, garlic, oregano and ricotta on top. Crumbled house-made morcilla topped the ricotta. The pairing of the wine and pizza was memorable….the cheese, sausage, crust and wine…aaaahh! Next time though, I just want a bowl of crumbled morcilla with this wine!!