The history of this property gives me the chills, in a bittersweet sort of way. The full story of Semaska begins in the 1600s, when the property was known as le Château de Montlys. Remarkably untouched by the 1789 French Revolution, it wasn’t until WWI when war would finally beat this land into submission. As if losing everyone to the war wasn’t enough, the vineyard’s fate was finally sealed by a total devastation by Phylloxera (though I am guessing WW2 didn’t help much either...). Christophe hadn’t planned to become a winemaker, but his passion for fine wines and their history led him to Montlys. He replanted the vines in their original location in 1988 and has been working since then to bring this historic estate back to life. Oh yeah, and the wine is pretty good too. Dry dusty tannins, dark fruit, and a lovely peppery spiciness.
Grape: Syrah 100%
Region: Saint-Joseph, Rhône, France
Farming: 30-50 year old vines, hand harvested
Winery: De-stemmed and fermented for 3 weeks in stainless, aged 12-15 months in 2-5 year old oak barrels