2018 Christophe Billon Cote Rotie "Brocarde", Rhone Valley, France (750ml)
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A very rich and deeply flavored Northern Rhone red. The Syrah was co-fermented with 3% Viognier, an approach which adds aromatic lift to the nose and softens the tannins a bit. Cellar-worthy for 10-20 years with the promise of greater complexity in time. Christophe Billon farms 10 hectares of vines in Côte Rotie, Condrieu and VdP Colline Rhodanniennes. The average vine age in the Côte Roties is 30 years, but the oldest block was planted by his grandfather in 1942.
Producer notes ~ "The vineyard ‘La Brocarde’ sits northwest of the village of Ampuis, sitting midslope next to and bordering ‘Côte Brune.’ Steeply graded with vines facing east, the plot’s soils are rich in schist, with some mica, plus veins of iron oxide, highly mineral. Most estate vines are planted in terraces, separated by ancient, dry stone walls. Vine age is 45 years, on average. Destemmed; fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature controlled, stainless steel tanks. Aged for 26 months in new French oak barrels. TASTING IMPRESSIONS: Aromas of red and black fruits, purple and red flowers, light pepper and toast. Full-bodied and deep, with notable mineral poise and energy; present yet fine-grained tannins. PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: Red meat or autumn stews; aged French cheeses.