winemaker : Jean-François Malsert
Region : Rhône Valley
Grape varieties : syrah, gamay, chasselas, marsanne, roussanne and viognier
Surface Winery : 4 ha
Certification: in the process of organic conversion
We're talking to you about his Winery
Jean-François Malsert is a winemaker high perched! He created Winery de l'Iserand on the Ardèche plateau at an altitude of over 350 m near Tournon. This is the northern part of the Rhône Valley, in the heart of the Saint Joseph appellation.
Jean-François first created a wine bar in Tournon, then travelled to New Zealand and Australia before returning home to devote himself entirely to wine. Organic and natural wines like the ones he used to sell in his wine bar!
To create a Winery, you need vines...Some of the grandfather's vines were partly fallowed so Jean-François worked hard to restore them and replant them. He also buys some grapes to have enough volume to offer to his customers.
The terroirs are mainly granite, gneiss, mica schist and loess based slopes. Half of the vines are worked by animal traction, winch & pickaxe and the other half by a small tractor.
The vinification is simple, the reds are often whole-harvested, and the vatting time is short, from one to two weeks. The whites are directly pressed even if skin maceration trials are carried out. The wines are then housed in amphoras and demi-muids for ageing between 6 and 18 months.
Jean-François appreciates these high altitude terroirs which allow him to make light and airy Saint Joseph wines. His white St Jo' whites do not go through wood and are vinified in amphoras to keep the tension. No fining, no filtration, a little sulphur at the bottling and that's all.
The red St Jo's are aged for 16 months in ½ muid because, according to Jean-François, "the Syrah behaves well in this container which gives it a little patina without marking it".