When you first meet Lionel Faury, it’s easy to mistake him for a gentle giant. At six foot five, with a linebacker’s frame, he is soft-spoken, humble, and good-humored. Lionel’s modesty and affability, however, belie the intensity he brings to the job—and sport—he loves. Two years ago, he won his tenth Joutes Nautiques, the French championship of water jousting (Google it!). Lionel is equally, if not more, successful in his day job as one of the northern Rhône’s great vignerons. What links the two? “Passion,” he replied when he visited Berkeley in January 2020. Lionel represents the third generation of his family to grow grapes and make wine in Chavanay, south of Lyon. After the Second World War, his grandfather planted vines and orchards, to make wine and sell fresh fruit. When Lionel’s father Philippe took over, he replaced the fruit trees with more vines and dedicated the entire family business to wine production, crafting top-notch northern Rhône reds and whites. Today, Lionel runs the domaine and continues to take it to soaring heights. More than his father or grandfather, he has to contend with the challenges of climate change. “It seems there is no more spring and autumn here, only summer and winter,” he says. Preserving freshness and acidity in the face of warmer vintages is one of his primary goals, and he achieves this masterfully by keeping more leaves on the vines—thereby providing more shade to the grapes—as well as pursuing shorter macerations and more whole-cluster fermentation than the domaine used to. He’s also thinking about how to retain more moisture and less heat in his soils. In these wines, you will taste the passion of a classicist trying to uphold the best traditions of the northern Rhône, and also the creativity of a thoughtful vigneron navigating the hurdles of the present and future. Faury’s 2018 Condrieu is sublime now. The rouges will evolve beautifully, but they, too, are packed with class and drinkability today.
Somehow, after four decades of flawless Chablis, this treasured domaine has managed to remain a hidden gem within our Burgundy portfolio. With every release, these staff favorites get scooped up by the case by the folks here at KLWM, and by those seasoned customers who’ve figured out by now the outstanding pleasure and value this producer provides vintage after vintage. It’s been long predicted that someday we’ll be unable to offer Lavantureux’s wines without allocating them — the potential for glory and fame is right there in your glass.
The southern Rhône, Provence, Languedoc, Corsica: distinct regions, yet viticulturally intertwined. Grape varieties like Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Vermentino are found in each, ripening under the abundant sunshine of a gorgeous Mediterranean climate. But diversity abounds—now is your chance to dig deeper into southern France.
In these wines, you will taste the passion of a classicist trying to uphold the best traditions of the northern Rhône, and also the creativity of a thoughtful vigneron navigating the hurdles of the present and future.
When traveling the wine route in France and Italy, I come across fine olive oil almost as often as I come across fine wine. Of course, these are the two staples of the diet in this part of the world...
Here at Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant we don’t believe in selling anything mediocre, and we would certainly not put our name on a wine we didn’t believe in. So our values are just that, wines that are full of value and quality.
Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol
Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa