ERIC TEXIER: IT’S NOT NUCLEAR PHYSICS AFTER ALL
Eric Texier was not born into the wine industry. He spent much of his early adult years as a Nuclear Physicist. Eric is a very intelligent man. So, when he did make the leap into winemaking and viticulture – that intelligence was merely given a new focus. Before starting his own venture he received his enology degree and studied under Jean-Marie Guffens. Good start.
We visited Eric in the fall of last year. After tasting so many Rhone wines that were heavily extracted, overly oaked, dirty, and just downright undrinkable (including some with very high scores) – our visit with Eric was thoroughly refreshing. We spent the morning in the cave tasting almost all of his cuvees mostly from 2011 with some from 2010. We have never had such delicate, perfumed, and downright pretty grenache from the barrel as we did that morning. These were all-day wines. We were very excited.
Eric farms organic/bio and what fruit he does purchase (from some very storied lots we might add) is also farmed organic/bio. His winemaking is very simple and he is a true disciple of Jules Chauvet. We made the mistake of immediately saying “so carbonic maceration then?” to Eric when he mentioned this. We were told resoundingly “NO” as he explained, that like many others (including Alice Feiring who features Eric for a chapter in one of her books) we hadn’t actually read Chauvet (it’s in French and very hard to find) but had just latched on to one aspect of his teachings. Stupid importer. Chauvet, Eric explained, is about so much more than carbonic and gets really interesting when talking about sulphur use and microbial activities before, during, and after fermentation. OK. Got it.
Eric feels he has a pretty good handle on his wine-making and fruit sources. The hardest part for him now is nailing his elevage and choosing when to remove a particular cuvée from the barrel. We commented that considering how little he does to the wines we are amazed they are so clean and driven. Eric got up from the table without a word and went inside the house. He returned with a microscope which he placed on the table. He says “To do nothing, you have to know everything.” Amen. And he concludes “it’s not nuclear physics after all.”
We have a very small shipment of the Texier Cotes du Rhone and Cotes du Rhone Village that have landed and are cleared for ordering. We will be working with more of Eric’s other cuvées in the future – so stay tuned.