Located in the village of Chavenay in the heart of St. Joseph, totaling just under 15 hectares, Verzier is a new producer that we haven't offered before. The wines from this small address rarely make it into the USA, and after an excellent showing at the Decanter Wine World Awards winning pretty big, this looked to be an incredible value for the Northern Rhone. At the young age of 19, Phillipe took over his father's 2.5 hectares of vines in 1988, producing his first vintage the same year. Since then, the estate has grown, and Phillippe's son, Maxime, has joined the family tradition after tenures in Burgundy, Alsace, and South Africa. The family team tends their vines organically with lots of work in the vineyard controlling yields and using a few biodynamic techniques to strengthen the vines and promote strong biodiversity in the vineyards. The "Right Way" to make wine, as we sometimes call it, this extensive labor almost always yields a superior product. Empreinte is sourced from the Chate-Perdrix vineyard, which is planted to old varietal syrah on granite about 30 years old. Hand-harvested and sorted using whole clusters, it is fermented in temperature-controlled tanks before transferring to older barrels for 12 months of aging. Empreinte blends the traditional St. Joseph character with a beautiful display of red fruits, providing an excellent sense of place with soaring aromatics for fresh early drinking with the ability to age for a few years. 2019 is the most outstanding vintage the Verzier family has made this far. With the forward-thinking young mind of Maxime on their team and Phillipe's old-school approach, this is an address to keep an eye on, and right now, we have the only bottles available in the USA.
Decanter Wine World Awards Platinum Medal 97 points! "Really interesting nose with animal notes and some primary fruit still lurking. Complex and elegant peppery fruits with a faint herbal flavours. Lovely freshness and balance. Nice weight and length."