A young man with a bright future, Emmanuel Darnaud is well on the road toward making a strong name for himself as one of the most talented young winemakers to emerge from this appellation in the last handful of years, as acknowledged by leading Rhone Valley wine guru John Livingstone-Learmonth and certainly by anyone who has tasted his remarkable wines.His wine making education came at the foot of the best, noted Hermitage producer Bernard Faurie, where Emmanuel spent 4 years.
Emmanuel is a perfectionist and no small detail of the winemaking process goes ill-considered. A visit to his domaine or a walk along side him in the vineyards clearly attests to this fact. From his meticulous leaf management that favors maximum aeration and exposure, to alternating the growth of cover grasses from row to row, which allows him to reduce the footprint of heavy machinery in the vineyard, he gives appreciation to the notion that great wines have their start in the vineyard through attentive and meticulous practices, and then afterward through a delicate transformation that takes place in the cellar. Once there the harvested fruit is subjected to an extreme chill before going into the fermentation tanks for a cold pre-fermentation followed by the rigors of multiple foot-crushings each day in each tank during the three week fermentations.
His attention to detail continues naturally through the 14 months of aging, as he tracks the progress of each barrel by racking and then reintroducing the wine into the same barrel, after cleaning, so that that he can follow the precise contribution of each cask.
Since his first vintage in 2001, Darnaud has emerged as a maker of brightly fruited wines with a smoky, seductive and haunting bouquet that clearly sets him in a class apart from his contemporaries.