2021 Domaine Julien Cécillon Saint-Joseph "Babylone", Rhone Valley, France
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ABOUT THIS WINE
The Saint-Joseph ‘Babylone’ comes from old-vine parcels near the historic center of the appellation, including century-old vines from the ‘Côte des Rivoirs’ parcel in Tournon. Additional vineyard sources in Vion and Ozon round out the blend; all parcels are between 125 and 250m elevation. Soils are granite de Tournon (decomposed granite with sand and gneiss), which lends this Syrah a clear sense of acidity and lift. 75% destemmed / 25% whole-cluster; fermentation in stainless steel; 17 months’ élevage in 1 to 6-year-old barrels.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
While the Cecillon label only recently began, Julien’s family has been documented making wine in Tournon for eleven generations. Today, Julien and his wife are dedicated to producing exceptional terroir-driven wines at their small winery, which is located near Tournon, in the historic center of the Rhône Valley.
Julien Cecillon grew up in Tournon-sur-Rhône, surrounded by the maternal branch of the family that includes iconic producers such as his cousin, Bernard Faurie, and uncle Jean-Louis Grippat. After meeting Nancy Kerschen while working at a winery in California, the two decided to return to Tournon and create their own estate. Acquiring small parcels by chance, opportunity, and perseverance, Julien and Nancy have worked together with tireless focus to craft wines that establish their own reputation amongst the best producers in the Northern Rhône. Though they are running the winery on their own, the couple certainly benefits from the guidance of Julien’s winemaking heritage. Jean-Louis Grippat, now retired, can be called on for advice, and loves to ride his bicycle past his nephew’s vines to verify that all the vineyard work is timely and proper.
Julien and Nancy farm estate parcels in the appellations of Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage, as well as two hectares of Viognier and Gamay further into the Ardèche hills near the village of Ardoix, which are classified as Vin de France. To broaden the range of wines, they also work with local growers to produce several micro-négociant cuvées. All of the wines at the domaine are produced with native yeasts and are aged primarily in used barrels to create harmonious, balanced wines that highlight the unique terroirs of the Northern Rhône.