|France / Rhone Valley / Northern Rhône / Côte-Rôtie|
|Northern Rhône Côte-Rotie|
Terroir : The vineyards are situated in “Viallière”, “Champon” and “Le Plomb”, in the northern part of the Côte-Rôtie appellation, on ferrous mica schist soils. The slopes are south-east facing.
Surface area : 4 hectares.
Grape variety : More than 95 % Syrah selected from the best vineplants (an old, little-known grape called Sérine from Ampuis), plus some Viognier vine stocks are planted.
Age of vines : 10 to 60 years.
Work on the vines : We tend and cultivate our vines in the most natural way possible. Most of the work is carried out manually as large-scale machinery can not be used on the very steep slopes. Our planting density is eight thousand vine stocks per hectare. In the winter, the land is left untouched and grass grows naturally. The vines are either supported by stakes or are trained along wires depending on the steepness of the slope. The vines on stakes are ‘goblet-trained’ and the vines on wires are pruned using the ‘Cordon de Royat’ method. The soils are farmed in the spring and the summer. Instead of using chemical fertilisers, we use manually-spread composted manure. The vines are treated moderately without using pesticides or synthetic chemicals. Our vine stocks come from our own selections of old Serine grapes (a traditional Syrah grape variety from Ampuis) which we graft at the estate. These Serines are less productive and allow the grapes to develop more complex aromas than if a more modern grape was selected.
Winemaking : The grape harvest is done manually using small containers. The grapes are carefully chosen and picked by the harvesters. When the crop arrives at the wine cellar the grapes are then vatted by gravity and are partially destemmed. The fermentation process takes place with natural yeasts. During the winemaking process a series of procedures take place: pigeages which is punching of the cap and remontages which is pumping over the fermenting wine from the bottom of the cask back to the top. A moderate temperature is maintained ensuring a gentle extraction of aromas and tannins. Depending on the wine tasting results, devatting takes place after 3 to 4 weeks.
Ageing : 2 years in oak barrels (volume of the barrel is 228 litres), (15 % new, made with fine grain French oak which has been dried for 4 years).
Annual production : approximately 15 000 bottles a year.
Ageing potential : The wines can be drunk early on, during the year after bottling, to appreciate the fresh emerging aromas or can be kept a few years to allow the complexity of the aromas to flourish.
Wine tasting : Fine, elegant wines revealing quite a strong tannin structure. Relatively complex fragrances of black fruits, spices and violets. The wines at their peak unveil aromas of undergrowth and grilled tobacco.
Food and wine pairing : Good quality grilled meat, a leg of lamb or duck. The older wines can be served with game. To be original, a vintage with a softer taste can be savoured with fresh water fish.
Organic wine, certified by ECOCERT