Rouchier is one of the smallest productions we have ever seen in the Rhone. The total vineyard area of the Domaine is only 1.5 hectares, worked solely by husband and wife team Christian and Martine. In the Heart of Saint Joseph, Rouchier produces two 100% Syrah Lieu-dits, Luc, a .5 hectare parcel planted in 1972 on clay on Schist soils. The other parcel, Chave, is a one-hectare plot planted in 1958 on granite. Both vineyards are organic, and like a handful of producers in the Rhone valley, Rouchier bottles their wines naturally with no sulfur added and is the first we have seen apply these principles to Saint Joseph. These are very pure and juicy bottlings of Syrah in Saint Joseph with the Chave shows more vineyard expression; both are serious. Rouchier has been polishing there wines creating fresh examples and leaning away from the ultra-rustic style that their first vintages saw. Coming from a lovely vintage like 2018, these show optimal ripeness with beautiful complexity and balance. The Chave is a rare unadulterated wine from Saint Joseph showing the purity of smart winemaking and is worth checking out.