Louis Chèze started his venture in 1978 with one hectare of vines in the Saint-Joseph appellation, on a hillside on the right bank of the Rhône in the commune of Limony. Since then, the domain has grown to 30 hectares, and owns vineyards in Saint-Joseph, Condrieu and more recently, on the other side of the Rhône on the hillsides of Seyssuel, opposite the Côte-Rôtie. Like François Villard, Yves Cuilleron and Pierre Galliard, Louis Chèze now cultivates vines on the remains of the ancient Roman vineyards there. The domain has a modern winery so the vinification process is as fine-tuned as it can be. Every cuvée is the outcome of a meticulous single parcel selection that allows the terroir and grapes to express themselves fully. As the wines are produced on a granite terrain they are very fresh, stylish and full of character. This Rhône Valley domain is growing in reputation.
About the cuvée
Located at the top of the hill, the 2-hectare Pagus Luminis parcel has produced this cuvée since the 1993 vintage. Located on the slopes of Limony, it benefits from a southerly exposure and granitic soil. Here, 25-year-old Viognier vines are sustainably farmed, and their yields are estimated at 32 hl/ha. In the vineyards, selective sorting on the vine is conducted, with harvesting by hand. In the cellar, a second sorting on a vibrating table is carried out, followed by pressing, settling, and alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in barrique barrels with lees stirring. The wine is then matured for between 8 and 10 months in barrels used once or twice before, before filtration and bottling. This Condrieu has a pretty yellow-gold colour. Its nose reveals attractive white flower and peach notes. The palate is direct and supple, and finishes with a beautiful mineral note. It is advisable to drink it while still young and fruity, between 2 and 4 years old. Others will appreciate the tertiary aromas of Viognier after a few years' keeping.
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General : The «bio» designation covers certified wines produced by biodynamic or organic methods, sustainably produced wines, and «environmentally friendly» wines that are not officially certified. These designations apply to recent vintages (the date of certification, if known, is specified in the estate description). See the blog article for more information on this designation.
Biodynamic : The «biodynamic» designation is used for all estates certified as using biodynamic methods, as verified by one of the two official bodies, Demeter or Biodyvin. All wines produced by biodynamic methods are also certified as organic. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Organic : The «organic» designation covers all estates certified as using organic methods, as verified by one of the bodies approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, such as Ecocert. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Sustainable : The «sustainable» designation covers all estates certified as using integrated or High Environmental Value (level 3 Environmental Certification) techniques. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Evironmentally friendly : The «environmentally friendly» designation refers to estates practising environmentally friendly wine-growing techniques, but that have not opted for certification or who are still in the process of converting to organic agriculture or biodynamics. These estates may have adopted biodynamic principles (non-certified) or simply no longer use chemical products. This designation applies to recent vintages.
Natural : Wines which are produced without any added sulfur (or almost any) and with no other inputs. However, given that there is no official body to issue the natural wine label, it is based on winemakers’ statements. This designation applies to recent vintages.