DOMAINE des pothiers

Romain Paire and family are without a doubt the reference point for the Côte Roannaise. Although technically a part of the Loire, with it's unique granite soils this area is often considered the unofficial "11th Cru of the Beaujolais" (even though it's at least an hour drive from Brouilly, and the Gamay used here is a particular variety called Gamay Saint-Romain, which is distinct from the Gamay in the Beaujolais). The Paires have been farming here for over 300 years, raising Limousin cattle in addition to grapes, and are now certified organic and biodynamic. Harvesting is by hand, only indigenous yeasts are used, and the reds undergo a classic fermentation (no carbonic) with élevage in cement or, in the case of the monopole "Clos du Puy", in old wood. The wines can range from bright, peppery, and lively to dense, structured, and age worthy.