Domaine Sérol – Gamay St. Romain, the Côte Roannaise & Maison Troisgros

Domaine Sérol is the perfect estate for those wanting a fresh story to tell- a great couple making domaine wines to a very high standard, in a food-friendly style. 

Technically, the Cote Roannaise is part of the Central Loire Valley wine region. Yet it’s so far south geographically, it is much closer to Beaujolais. Like Beaujolais, the Côte Roannaise reds are made from Gamay, but it is a local variety called Gamay St. Romain. 

Domaine Sérol is one of the only estates in the region that focuses on premium quality wine. Transmitted from father to son for five generations, Stéphane Sérol took over the estate from his father in 1996 with his wife, Carine. They are certified organic and in the process of converting to biodynamics. 

The Côte Roannaise is already a gastronomic mecca, with the famous restaurant Troisgros situated in Roanne. Interestingly, the Sérols work in partnership with Troisgros- Domaine Sérol and Michel Troisgros actually share ownership of Les Blondins, a two-hectare vineyard of Gamay St. Romain. In addition, every year Troisgros selects a cuvée from the Sérol estate to present alongside local food and use in wine pairings. 

Eclat de Granite: 

  • Size: 8-10 ha (20-25ac) depending on the year
  • Variety: Gamay St. Romain
  • Vine Age: Planted from the mid 1930s to the mid-2000s
  • Terroir: Mix of elevations and exposures, with soil of granite rocks and fine granite gravel
  • Viticulture: Certified organic, under official biodynamic conversion
  • Vinification: 40% de-stemmed, indigenous yeast fermentation. Aged for 6 months in cement tank, light filtration.

This cuvée is a blend of different vineyards. The amount produced and vineyards it is sourced from varies from year to year. Its identity comes from the granitic soils in each terroir and the older vine ages. While the youngest vines may be only 10 years old, some of the domaine’s oldest vines give their fruit to this cuvée as well. More entrenched vine root systems add complexity and the granite soils are the hallmark of the Sérol’s terroir.

Les Millerands: 

  • Size: 2.2 ha (5.5 ac)
  • Variety: Gamay St. Romain
  • Vine Age: Planted in the 1930s and 1940s
  • Terroir: Mostly from lieu-dit le Briera situated above the winery, east-facing and high elevation (500m)
  • Viticulture: Certified organic, under official biodynamic conversion
  • Vinification: 70% de-stemmed, indigenous yeast fermentation. Aged for 11 months in cement tank, light filtration.

This cuvée is named after millerandage i.e. an irregular fruit set in which the berries on a grape cluster are not uniform in size. This results in a higher skin-to-juice ratio, and therefore wines with more tannins and phenolic complexity. These grapes come from older vines in a cooler climat: culminating in this effect each year. High density of planting of 10,000 vines per hectare.