The achievements of Vivien Roussignol and Marie Toussaint would lead us to believe that these are two seasoned winemakers. The truth is that they are younger than the youngest vines they tend, which are 30 years old! But that does not reveal the fact that these two winemakers have a lifetime of experience which spans 3 continents and working in almost 9 wineries.
Vivien and Marie studied oenology at Montpellier and worked vintages in California (L’Aventure in Paso Robles) and Australia (Clonakilla and Lerida), as well as at Möet et Chandon in Champagne and other estates in Languedoc and Corsica. Roussignol’s parents, members of the St-Chinian co-op, gave them a hectare of old vines and in 2011 Vivien Roussignol and Marie Toussaint released their first vintage of Les Païssels, a blend of mostly Carignan and Syrah with some Grenache and Mourvedre. Their first vintage garnered critical acclaim from critics in Europe, with some using descriptors such as ” sunshine in a glass”, “impressive” and “youthful and dramatic”. The Decanter gave them 95 POINTS! Talk about a first effort! The biggest lament from the critics were that there wasn’t enough to go around! Although they added 5 more acres to their property in 2012, this is still remains a small, boutique winery. All work is done by hand. No weedkillers or chemical pesticides are used here.
So while Vivien and Marie are so young that they shouldn’t have any business doing what they are doing, their efforts have been stellar and the future of Les Païssels is incredibly bright.
Sierra Nevada Imports is delighted to introduce the wines of Vivien Roussignol and Marie Toussaint of Les Païssels. The 2012 Les Païssels shown below is the remainder of their inventory. There wasn’t much but it is such an incredible wine that we grabbed all the rest! You can compare the 2012 and 2013 to appreciate the differences in the vintages.
Les Païssels 2012: The Païssels are the stakes made of chestnut wood used to support grapevines. Les Païssels is a predominantly Syrah and Carignan blend with some Grenache and Mourvedre. This wine is rich with blueberries, spice, kirsch and vanilla. Well balanced with firm tannins and good acidity. The Decanter gave this wine 90 POINTS. This wine will age gracefully for a 4-5 years.
Les Païssels 2013: Their current vintage continues to impress with rich black fruits, spice and a long finish. This wine will age gracefully for 4-5 years.
Le Banel 2013: The Banel refers to the little horned goats that graze in the scrubland of Languedoc. This wine is a blend of Carignan and Grenache. Notes of black fruits, currants. This is a joyful wine that is tank fermented drinks well when young but will hold well for a couple of years. an easy wine to pair with a variety of foods.