Hervé is known for his powerful, yet elegant St Joseph wines from his plots in the Northern Rhône, but he also makes some fantastic, approachable Vin de France Syrah from his other holdings near Arlebosc in the Ardèche - this is where some smart value is to be found. Not quite reaching the heavy-hitting 14+ degrees of alcohol that some of the wines from that feted terroir can, this Syrah shows a freshness that reveals itself in pretty aromas of cracked peppercorns and violet flowers, layered over an elegant frame of deep black fruits and fine-grained complexity from fermentation and ageing in old barrels. It's a neat balancing act and an absolute must for these cold autumn and winter nights.
Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet was created in 1993 by Hervé & Beatrice Souhaut. Their holdings on the northern Rhohne and the southern Ardeche are a mixture of new and ancient vines-from 40 to 100 years old. Hervé Souhaut's holdings are minuscule, only five hectares and he employs only organic and biodynamic winemaking techniques.