Domaine Sérol, 2018 Update

Perhaps the first domaine I was able to get to grips with in the Côte Roannaise was Domaine Sérol. The Sérol family can trace their presence here back at least as far as the early-18th century, although for much of this time viticulture was a sideline, perhaps even a hobby, with barely 2 hectares of vines (if you are have a sense of déjà vu reading this, perhaps you are thinking of my report on Turbullent, published earlier this week). Today it is anything but a hobby; the estate is now run with great skill by Stéphane Sérol (pictured below), with the assistance of his spouse, Carine. They run it along viticulture raisonnée lines, with Terra Vitis certification obtained in 2002.

Domaine Sérol

In this most recent encounter I tasted my way through a selection of cuvées from the 2017 and 2016 vintages. On the whole I found that 2017 is the more elegantly poised of the two, as well as being more generous than the cooler 2016 vintage, which is touched by the grain of its tannin and its acidity. The 2017 vintage was assessed through the tasting of vat samples, to start with entry-level wines, but with some single-vineyard wines to finish up. From among the former there wasn’t much to choose between my favourites, the 2017 Éclat de Granite rich in cherry and loganberry fruit, and the 2017 Les Blondins characterised by deliciously dry cherry skin and peony scents. The single-vineyard cuvées provided more interest, although the differences were slight; but the 2017 Oudan and 2017 Millerands showed great promise, both showing darker veins of fruit, black cherry and wild berries, with an elegant poise on the palate.

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