2012 Monier St. Joseph BlancMarsanne from France
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"Jean-Pierre Monier is as happy and as grateful a vigneron as one finds. His small production wines certainly have not made him wealthy (far from it), but his effortless calm, ...
"Jean-Pierre Monier is as happy and as grateful a vigneron as one finds. His small production wines certainly have not made him wealthy (far from it), but his effortless calm, natural sensitivity, and quiet conviction give him an enviable air of simplicity. He is the third generation of his family to be farming in Brunieux, a lieu-dit in the hills above the village of St-Désirat in the Northern Rhône appellation of Saint Joseph. Like his forefathers, wine is only part of his farm’s overall production. Apricot orchards complement the vineyards, and everything is farmed biodynamically. Between 1977-2001, Jean-Pierre sold his fruit to the local cave cooperative in St-Désirat, but the noticeable quality his vines were producing was enough to encourage him to bottle wines under his own label. Heavily influenced by the teaching and research of the German biodynamic guru, Maria Thun, Jean-Pierre earned certification in 2006. Northern Rhône expert, John Livingstone-Learmonth has developed a category for select vignerons of the region called STGT (Soil to Glass Transfer), of which Domaine Monier is a part. He explains, in his definitive classic, The Wines of the Northern Rhône, This is a numerically small group, one that has survived the onslaught of marketing campaigns, press hype, fashions in winemaking, and wine school orthodoxies. There are a few other domaines that occasionally turn out unfettered wines in the STGT vein, but without the consistency. A sincere wish, of course, is that this group should grow in the coming years. (xiv) With only five hectares of land to farm, all on gentle, higher altitude slopes, one might question the interest in working by such stringent standards. For a joyful artisan like Jean-Pierre, purity and authenticity are paramount, and his viticultural methodology is merely the most genuine manifestation of these ideals." -Importer