Darnaud | Emmanuel
First tasted and fell head over heels for Emmanuel Darnaud’s wine behind the proverbial curtain at the Salon de Loire. Who would have thought that we’d discover a great young winemaker from the Rhone at the Loire Valley wine fair? It was brought to us by our friend and associate Laurence Terrisson.
It was fun to see Robert Parker’s very positive first review of the wine where he writes that there is no importer in the United States. We were on the third vintage at that time.
Darnaud’s painstaking work in the vineyard and regard for the fruit in the vinification process have ensured his place amongst the “big boys” since his first vintage, 2001. The quality of his wines has earned him great praise in French and international revues, as well as a place in many Michelin-starred restaurants.
Crozes-Hermitage is an appellation in the northern Rhône on the east bank of the River. This is a 12.36 acre vineyard of 10 to 35 year-old Syrah vines planted on glacial alluviums of smooth pebbles. The climate is continental with a Mediterranean influence. Les 3 Chênes (The 3 Oaks) is the name of the first plot planted by Emmanuel Darnaud. On this plot, three old oaks were held to mark three angles. He wanted to give the name of his first parcel of this Cuvée.
The grapes are harvested by hand, destemmed, then cold macerated and fermented in open concrete vats with regular temperature control. During this period, the winemaker treads, punches and pumps over several times. The wine is divided 35% in new barrels, 35% in one-year barrels, the rest in 2-3-year barrels and left to mature for 13 months.