Les Freres Soulier

Gard, France

The brothers Soulier, in my mind at least, represent a changing of the guard—in the Gard—from the old school naturalist vibe of Eric Pfifflering's l'Anglore estate to their now new school, sleeked out minimalist, dare I say designer aesthetic. Looking at the embossed jet black Valmal label, I'm visualizing these guys walking around town just after a press in shiny black leather pants purchased from their last trip to Paris, but maybe I'm just letting my imagination get the best of me here. Les Freres Soulier seem to be as serious as ever these days, with a focus on directly pressed red varietals, rather than the majority richer more bodied wines of their earlier days. Designer or not, Valmal is pretty heady stuff as far as the Gard is concerned, and as the old adage goes, will certainly only loosen up its current restraint a bit and find its essence with time. Honestly though, it's great now. Botrytis too, an early October pick of nobly rotten Carignan that reminds of Pinot or Gamay from elsewhere—a sick wine to blind your know it all friends on.

Valmal 2022
Rosé of old vine Grenache Noir

Botrytis 2022
Late pick of Carignan

Coqueyron Haut 2022
Rosé of Grenache Noir

Le Clastre 2023
Rosé of Syrah