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After wine studies in Beaune, winemaker Sylvain Gauthier decided to explore native Rhône grapes first with Michel Chapoutier and then with Stéphane Robert, before he was ready to start his own project in the true center of the Saint-Joseph appellation. He founded his micro-domaine in the village of Cheminas in 2007, the name “pierres séches” inspired by the hand-built, ancient stone walls that support vineyard terraces on the steep slopes of the northern Rhône. Farming organically and using little sulfur at bottling, Sylvain’s wines are vibrantly flavored and energetically spiced—in sum, serious northern wines that have quickly become a musthave from an up-and-coming talent.

Jeb Dunnuck: The young Burgundy-trained Sylvain Gauthier has hit some home runs with his latest 2017 whites and 2016 reds, and this is another up and coming estate readers need to have on their radar. Pulling from just five hectares of vines, quantities are unfortunately limited, but these are well worth the extra effort to track down. Gauthier didn’t start making wine until 2007, so the quality coming from the estate today bodes incredibly well for the future.