The Dumien name can be found mentioned in Cornas as far back as 1515. In 1938 the family purchased 2.2 hectares of vineyards which have remained in the family to the present day. After years of selling in bulk to negociants such as Delas, Chapoutier and Jaboulet, Domaine Dumien-Serrette began to bottle their own wine in 1983.
2ha of the estate’s total 2.2ha is found in the Patou vineyard (the other 0.2ha is located in Mazards) where the vines date back to the 1920’s, some even exceeding 100 years old. The soil is primarily granite. Although Serrette isn’t certified, they use only organic fertilizer. The vines are trained into two-vine canopies to protect against wind and hail. The Patou is very steep and Gilbert, who is in his 60’s, still insists on tending the vines using a special cart he invented which pulls him slowly up the rows while he works.
Grapes are pressed with an old fashioned basket press and aged 24 months in 2-7 year old barrels. The 2009 vintage uses 25% whole cluster fermentation. The estate’s total annual production is around 300 cases and Madame Serrette labels each bottle by hand.
Since the 2006 vintage, the junior Serrette’s name has appeared on the label and the estate is now known as Domaine Nicolas Serrette. Nicolas, who after a brief career selling wine- making equipment, returned to family business to assist his father. Unlike many contemporaries, he did not attend wine school or receive any type of formal training. Instead, as the Serrette family has done for generations, he learned winemaking from his father, Gilbert.
This is no gimmick, it’s simply great wine being made in a traditional manner. If things never change here, we definitely won’t mind.
Review Score: 91-93