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Great Northern Rhône Terroir is on Display in Iserand's Syrah

Stylized image of Domaine des l'Iserand, Syrah VdF, 2021

Jean-François Malsert is one of our most exciting new discoveries. He is making stunningly fresh, energetic Syrah from old, never sprayed vines in and around Saint-Joseph. The wines feel alive and a touch wild but without ever losing focus, elegance or clarity. If you’re a fan of growers like Hervé Souhaut, Dard et Ribo or even, dare we say, Gonon, this is a grower whose work you should not miss.

Before Jean-François, or Jef, as his friends call him, became a vigneron, he ran a small wine bar in the tiny village of Tournon-sur-Rhône. The bar served as a showcase for the best growers of the region, striking a healthy balance between the classics and new-wave natural wine. After years behind the bar, Jef felt a pull to the vines. As luck would have it, he inherited a plot of old terraced vineyards, originally planted by his grandfather in the village of Sécheras, overlooking the Iserand gorge.

His grandfather had always worked his vineyards with extreme care, and always without chemical treatment, but never made his own wine. He simply sold off the grapes to local négociants who were eager to buy his pristine fruit.

To learn the craft of winemaking, Jef spent a few years training in Australia and New Zealand before returning home to take over his grandfather’s old vines. He continued to work without chemical additions and began to push even further introducing both seeded and natural cover crops. Today the vines feel like a wildly green kitchen garden, bursting with plant and animal life.

Today we are excited to share with you the perfect introduction to Jef’s work, his 2021 Syrah. Although it is his most “basic” wine, it comes from old terraced vines (30-45 years) sitting just outside the Saint-Joseph appellation. It's vinified in a combination of cement tanks and stainless steel vats, with 30% whole clusters. The wine is simply stunning, with loads of juicy, spicy black and red fruit, granite-rich mineral crunch, and surprising length. 

Domaine des Iserand, VdF Syrah, 2021 $24.99


This story was originally featured in our newsletter, where it was offered at a special subscribers-only discount. Subscribers get special offers, the first look at new discoveries, invites to events, and stories about wines and the artisans that make them.