“Headquartered in Saint-Jean de Muzols, this domaine, now run by Guy’s son, Thomas Farge, owns 22 hectares of vineyards spread across the southern portion of Saint-Joseph and down into Cornas and Saint-Péray. The white wines are varying blends of Marsanne and Roussanne, with portions fermented in steam-bent barrels and the rest made in stainless steel. The exception is the Condrieu, which is all barrel fermented and, of course, 100% Viognier. It’s a bit more variable than the other wines in the lineup but reliably excellent. “I’m looking for tension,” explains Farge. “And I love bitterness in the white wines.”
He says he’s trying to make some natural wines, but he isn’t sure if he’ll do them within the appellation system. Also worth checking out is Farge’s 2019 Vin de France Oxymore collaboration with Stephane Usseglio, in which they blend 65% northern Syrah with 30% Grenache and 5% Counoise from Usseglio’s vineyards. Along with the current releases, I tasted the excellent 2017 Cornas Reynard, which remains much as I observed last time I tasted it, and the 2011 Cornas Harmonie, which appears to be fading a bit and should be consumed over the next few years.
For the red wines, Farge does a pre-fermentation cold soak, uses a lot of whole clusters and does some extended maceration but with gentle extraction. “I want to have wines that are good to drink on release,” he says. “The goal is to give consumers a good moment.” Farge’s top cuvées are his Cornas Reynard, from 40- to 50-year-old vines, and his Saint-Joseph Passion de Terrasses, from a parcel planted in 1904.”
Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate (01/22)