Philippe Grenier with assistant

Biodynamic Saint-Joseph, Condrieu and Vins de Pays from Domaines des Amphores!

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Véronique and Philippe Grenier at Domaine des Amphores are located on the hillsides of Chavanay, just south of Condrieu, where they produce Saint-Joseph red and white, a lovely Condrieu and delicious Vins de Pays that are sensational values. Certified organic since their beginning in 1992, and since 2016 all the wines are Demeter certified for biodynamic farming as well. During our recent visit, Philippe took great pride in showing us the vines and discussing their health and vigor and the benefits of biodynamic farming for their wines.  The commitment and enthusiasm of Véronique and Philippe is inspirational, and typical of the hundreds of small estates around France who quietly produce wonderful organic wines at moderate prices. The wines seem to improve here every year as the effects of their great farming become more evident, and as their son Remi becomes more involved, particularly in the vinifications of the delicious Detour, Saint-Joseph Blanc and Condrieu.

The 2017 Detour Blanc, made from old-vine Clairette, Roussanne and Marsanne, is one of the best values in the store!  The unique blend of grape varieties gives the wine lovely complex aromas, and the ripeness on the palate is beautifully balanced by saline minerals and firm acidity. The Saint-Joseph Blanc and Condrieu are both outstanding examples of their appellations and offer excellent value as well. 

The 2017 reds are gorgeous Northern Rhone Syrahs for drinking over the next few years, offering ripe, floral blackberry and blueberry aromas. On the palate the wines are lush and supple with delightful red and black fruits balanced by fresh acidity - just delicious! We're not sure about the spelling, but Véronique and Philippe Grenier's "Sphé-érique" is a lovely "natural" Syrah, fermented and aged in a round concrete vat, and bottled with zero added sulfur. The aromas are wonderfully complex and the palate is pure and lovely - serve this unique wine cool and enjoy with a caillette ardechois or just about anything else...

While touring the cellar we came across a vat marked "Mornen Noir" - possibly related to Chasselas, this red grape used to be grown in the northern Rhone and the Loire but is now found only around the town of Chavanay. Phillipe is ressurecting some old vines and doing some replanting - the grape gives a low-alcohol wine with distinctive black fruit flavors - maybe we'll get a few cases to try next year.

As we got ready to leave, Philippe was preparing to meet Jean Gonon, representing organic farming on a committee of Saint-Joseph growers. The terroir around Chavanay gives a somewhat lighter but very pretty style of Saint-Joseph rouge as compared to that of the Gonons, but there are similar methods here and the same committment to great work in the vines. And the whites at this over-achieving estate are particularly lovely. We hope you try them all!

Veronique and Philippe
Barrel cellar at les Amphores

Domaine des Amphores 2017 Condrieu La Côte

Domaine des Amphores has a small, steep hillside parcel on granite soils in Condrieu, organic since 2002 and now certified Biodynamic as well.  Philippe and Veronique Grenier have made a lovely 2017, 100% Viognier of course, showing a pale gold color and aromas of lime-flower, pear and peach, tea,  lemon zest, almond and hay. The palate is dense and sapid, perfectly balanced with a firm center of mineral and stone flavors underlying apricot and pear fruit with almond and citrus. Rather full-bodied for a Condrieu but not in a cloying way, this should open up nicely over the next few years - serve with fish in sauce, Asian foods and white meats or as a superb aperitif with foie gras, pâtés and goat cheeses.  David Lillie

  • white
  • 6 in stock
  • $34.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Domaine des Amphores 2017 Vin de France Sphé-érique

We're not sure about the spelling, but Véronique and Philippe Grenier's "Sphé-érique" is a lovely "natural" Syrah, fermented and aged in a round concrete vat, and bottled with zero added sulfur. The wine shows lovely aromas of cool blackberry and blueberry fruit with violet, mint and citrus aromas, really quite complex and pretty. The palate is balanced and earthy with bright black fruits and firm acidity with stone and berry flavors in the refreshing finish.  Serve this light and lovely Syrah with lamb, pork, guinea hen and of course with caillettes ardechoises. (Like most no-sulfur wines, it is best to consume on the day opened.)

  • red
  • 14 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur
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Domaine des Amphores 2017 IGP des Collines Rhodanniennes Detour Blanc

The Detour Blanc is a beautiful blend of Roussanne, Clairette from 50 year-old vines, and Marsanne from the Collines Rhodaniennes. The nose is fresh, floral and lively with notes of grapefruit, tangerine, nectarine, white peach, honeysuckle and acacia. The palate is ripe and full but with nice saline minerals, with citrus confit, dried fruits, pear, apple and honeysuckle. The finish is long, dense and balanced, making this a lovely apéritif wine and a great combination with appetizers, full-flavored fish dishes, white meats, salads and mild cheeses. Just a delicious wine and a fabulous value! David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $13.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Domaine des Amphores 2017 IGP des Collines Rhodanniennes Syrah "Les Iris"

From 100% Syrah in Chavanay, just outside the Saint-Joseph zone, tended organically since planting, in the early 90's, and now  Biodynamic  as well. The 2017 "Les Iris" Syrah shows lovely ripe aromas of blackberry, blueberry and cherry with citrus and earth. The palate is elegant, with cool acidity and lush black raspberry and cherry fruit, with a fresh earthy finish with mineral and red fruit flavors. This a very versatile wine to serve cool with chicken, pork and mild cheeses or to sip by itself, slightly chilled. It's  an authentic and delicious wine and a great value!  David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $13.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Domaine des Amphores 2017 Saint-Joseph Blanc 'Altitude 300'

Since its inception in 1992, Philippe and Véronique Grenier have practiced organic farming on their tiny estate in Chavanay, in the AOC Saint-Joseph just south of Condrieu. Their 2017 "Altitude 300" is a beautiful white Saint-Joseph made from 80% Roussanne and 20% Marsanne.The wine shows subtle, fresh Roussanne aromas of pear,  almond, hay, bitter lemon, stone and  lime-flower. The palate is refreshing and bright with creamy citrus, pear, apricot, thyme, flint and stone, with nice density and length and firm acidity. Drink now with fish  in sauce, chicken and white meats and cow cheeses. A lovely wine and a great value!  David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Domaine des Amphores 2017 Saint-Joseph Les Sept Lieus

(From young vines, planted in the 90's, always organic, and from parcels of old vines, converted to organic, in Chavanay, below Condrieu) Philippe and Veronique Grenier have always farmed organically and now they are certified Biodynamic as well, bringing the quality even higher at this wonderful small estate. 2017 is a great vintage for the domain's "regular" cuvée, now called "les Sept Lieux." The wine shows ripe aromas of blackberry, black plum, blueberry, violet, mint and spice with meat, earth and mineral notes. The palate is dense and well balanced, not a fruit bomb, but with a core of red and black fruits, earth and citrus with a long cool finish of earthy black fruit and firm acidity. While it's delicious now, it should open up nicely over the next few years and drink well until 2025 - 2030. This is a great value in Saint-Joseph from the northern zone and is highly recommended!  David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic