2018 Jean-François Malsert/Domaine de l'Iserand 2018 Saint-Joseph Lou Taissou (750ml)
"Talk about a micro-producer: this tiny domaine was a launched in 2011 with a mere one-and-a-half hectares of Jean-François Malsert's grandfather's vines in the granite- and schist-rich soils of Sécheras. Today the holdings stand at four hectares, from which three bottlings emerge. Do the math on that! All of the vineyard work here is done to biodynamic standards, and the wines are raised in neutral demi-muids and amphoras, with minimal sulfur additions, only at bottling. They are also pure and delicious, but some hunting will be necessary, obviously, to see for yourself." - Josh Raynolds (Vinous)
Jean-Francois Malsert used to run the boisterous Carafe aux Foillies wine bar in Tournon, where he would regularly look to push the early vintages of Dard and Ribo, Herve Souhat and other low-intervention artisan winemakers. With enough encouragement by local vignerons, he decided to rehabilitate the old vineyards of his grandfather. He released his first wines in 2015.
What look to be rabbit ears on the label “Lou Taïssou” is said to mean “badger” in the Occitan dialect - a nod to one of the grape-eating pests Jean-François contends with in his vineyards.
"Dark violet color. Highly fragrant black/blue fruit, floral and licorice scents are lifted by smoky mineral and cracked pepper qualities. Pliant and seamless on the palate, showing real vivacity to its focused black raspberry, bitter cherry and spicecake flavors, which turn sweeter on the back half. Finishes sappy and energetic, with a salty hint of olive paste and dusty, fine-grained tannins that make a late appearance. (60% whole clusters; fermented in stainless steel tank and raised in a 50/50 combination of neutral _demi-muids and small, polymer tanks)" - 92 points, Josh Raynolds (Vinous, March 2020)