WSG Academic Advisor Andrew Jefford welcomes Gigondas appellation President and leading winegrower Louis Barruol of Chateau de Saint Cosme to the latest in our Wine Scholar Guild Live series: an hour of discussion with leading figures in today's wine world. In addition to his groundbreaking work in Gigondas, Louis also knows the length of the Rhone very well via his 'St Cosme' micro-negociant wines -- and he has partnered with Rick Rainey and Justin Boyette to create Forge Cellars in New York State's Finger Lakes region.
Don't miss the chance to listen to the views of one of France's most thoughtful, provocative and internationally minded winegrowers!
Louis Barruol is the descendant of a family of wine growers who has made wine since 1490. After spending his childhood in Gigondas, he graduated in Economy and Agro-economy at the Universities of Montpellier and Paris. He took over the family property Château de Saint Cosme in Gigondas in 1992, aged 23. He then launched a negociant business called « Saint Cosme » in 1997 and began to develop partnerships with other growers all over the Rhone valley, especially the Northern Rhone.
In 2011 he created Forge Cellars on Seneca Lake in the Fingers Lakes region of New York State with friend Rick Rainey: they began to plant vineyards, build a cellar, vinify and explore the potential of hundreds of plots. This work continues. In 2019, Louis bought the Château de Rouanne in Vinsobres, southern Rhone: an extraordinary 136-acre property located on the best slope of the appellation. He has been President of the Gigondas appellation since 2017.
Louis played a lot of competitive rugby and he plays the cello. He is married to Cherry and they have three children: James, Jenny and Alix.
Just 6% of Rhône Valley wines are white, but there is huge variety of styles, from straightforward, everyday wines to some of the finest, most distinctive whites in the world.
Though they share some grape varieties, the white wines in the Southern and Northern Rhône are very different. With some destined for the dinner table and others deliciously drinkable by themselves, there are styles to suit all tastes and plenty of value to be found at every level.
We’ll take a close look at the varieties and appellations that make the white Rhône an increasingly popular and sought-after category.
Transcript: Top Rhône White Wine Producers by AOC
Find below Matt's top white wine produce selection for the Rhône Valley, classed by appellation.
Matt Walls is a freelance wine writer and consultant based in London.
He is a contributing editor at Decanter and writes regular articles for other magazines and websites such as Foodism, Imbibe and timatkin.com.
He won the Best Newcomer awards at the 2013 Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards for Drink Me, his first book on wine, which has sold over 10,000 copies.
He publishes a popular wine blog, www.mattwalls.co.uk, for which he won International Wine & Spirit Competition Blogger of the Year 2015.
When not writing, Walls advises restaurants on wine lists, hosts tastings, judges food and wine competitions and develops wine apps.
Matt is interested in all areas of wine, but specialises in those of the Rhône – he is Regional Chair for the Rhône at the Decanter World Wine Awards.
Christophe Tassan is interviewed by Decanter Magazine’s Andrew Jefford about the Rhône Valley and its wines. “I was born in the dining room, in hospitality,” Christophe tells us, which seems appropriate, as this interview took place in a San Francisco restaurant around the corner from The Battery, where he is currently the wine director.
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