In 1992, Éric went back to Bordeaux to formally study viticulture and oenology at Bordeaux University. When he finished he worked with Jean-Marie Guffens at Verget. Guffens, who above all respected the terroir and strived to make wines reflecting the terroir, taught Éric to use the lees to enhance the wine's natural flavors rather than discard them as byproducts of winemaking. He also taught to embrace the botrytis affected grapes to produce superbly concentrated sweet wines. And it was there that Éric developed the abilities to determine the vigneron's viticulture practices and to only buy from growers who had respected the terroir and used minimal intervention into the natural life cycle (generally organic principles of little to no herbicides, no machines, etc.).
Applying old world traditions and experience with the new world's freedom Éric made his first wine in 1995. He began in the Mâconnais (a department in the Bourgogne region) and soon expanded to the Nôrthern Rhône which lead him still further south to the many Côte du Rhône villages and finally to Châteauneuf du Pape.
Today Éric produces approximately 25 unique wines each year that can be found in more than 10 countries around the world. View all Eric Texier Wines
About Cote RotieView a map of Cote Rotie wineries (cote roh-TEE)
The Rhone appellation furthest north, the translation of Cote Rotie is "roasted slope," named after the region's very steep, south facing slopes that have ideal exposure to the sun. There are two main slopes, Cote Brunes & Cote Blondes. They are just as they sound, with the darker Brunes soils consisting of rich clay and iron, producing firm and robust wine. The lighter soils of the Blondes slope contain more slate and limestone, making elegant and soft wine. Wine can be from one designated slope, or a blend of both – the label will designate which it is.
Notable FactsLike all Northern Rhone appellations, Syrah is the only grape allowed in Cote-Rotie. However, Cote-Rotie allows up to 20% of the more aromatic and elegant white grape, Viognier, to be blended into the red wines. From the Cote-Blondes slope, the grape makes no single-varietal white wines, it's only used to blend. In fact, no white wines at all come from Cote-Rotie. The reds, from both slopes, are marked for being elegant and complex, as well as ageworthy.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.