Lionel Faury Saint Joseph, 2019
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Along the steep, narrow valley that traces the northern Rhône, the appellations of Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu and Saint-Joseph take their place among the great wines of France, and Domaine Faury is one of the region’s most artisanal producers. When Philippe Faury took over the domaine in 1979, the family was selling wine, peaches and cherries, and the bulk of their clientele was local. Over the years, Philippe expanded their holdings to over eleven hectares, and expanded sales to an international client base. In addition, he has shared his savoir faire with his son, Lionel. In 2006, Lionel took over the reins at Domaine Faury, comfortably stepping into the role of vineyard and cellar manager to build off his father's hard work and take the domaine to new heights.
The steep hillsides of the northern Rhône present a challenging terrain where farming is only feasible through terracing. On these terraced slopes, the Faurys’ vines take full advantage of the southern and southeastern sun exposure, benefitting from optimum ripening. A combination of the predominately granitic soil, significant stem inclusion, soft crushing of the grapes with a pneumatic press, and temperature-controlled fermentation offer a liveliness and freshness that one does not often find in wines from the northern Rhône. There’s a real attention to detail here, and nothing is done in haste. Every method used encourages the grape towards greatness with the ultimate respect for its fragility. Pigeage, the punching of the cap, is not carried out with tools, but gently by foot–– not just poetic, but also pragmatic. Unlike many other vignerons in the region, the Faurys have a strong aversion to new oak. While all the wines are wood-aged, new barrels are kept to a minimum, and Lionel opts for larger formats better suited to his wines, mainly demi-muids and foudres. Hailing from top-notch terroirs and subject to minimal intervention in the cellar, these wines are loaded with classic flavors and show a remarkable rustic elegance.