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2013 Côte Rôtie “Nève”

Barruol / Lynch

2013 Côte Rôtie “Nève” Barruol / Lynch - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
A few words from vigneron Louis Barruol on the lieu-dit Nève: Nève is a fantastic, albeit little-known, terroir of Côte Rôtie. Located in the north of Ampuis on the lower part of the slope, its soils consist of decomposed red schist. It has an extraordinary capacity to display an intensely seductive nose—complex and full of refinement. There is always an ethereal quality.

Louis works exclusively with Serine, the ancient clone of Syrah known for low yields and a lovely aroma of violets. It ferments wild, stems and all, then the wine ages fifteen months in neutral barrels before an unfined and unfiltered bottling. The finesse here, along with its smoky, peppery, floral nuances, will resonate strongly with enthusiasts of traditionally crafted northern Rhône Syrahs. –Anthony Lynch
Vintage: 2013
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Syrah
Appellation: Côte Rôtie
Country: France
Region: Northern Rhône
Producer: Barruol / Lynch
Winemaker: Louis Barruol
Vineyard: 30 years
Soil: Schist
Farming: Lutte Raisonnée
Alcohol: 13%

More from this Producer or Region

About Northern Rhône

On the wines of the northern Rhône, Kermit wrote in Adventures on the Wine Route, “The best combine a reminder of the sunny Mediterranean with the more self-conscious, intellectual appeal of the great Burgundies farther north, which is not a bad combination.” Like the wines of Provence, Burgundy, and Beaujolais, Kermit was introduced to this region by Richard Olney, an American ex-pat and friend of Alice Waters.

Though technically part of the same region as the southern Rhône and connected by the Rhône River, much differentiates the north from the south. The climate is continental and in general cooler than that Mediterranean climate of the south. The appellations are significantly smaller: Cornas has less than 300 acres planted to vine and Hermitage around 345. The area planted is minute when compared to Gigondas (3,000+ acres) and Châteauneuf-du-Pape (nearly 8,000 acres). Many of the great wines come from steep hillside vines—terraced during Roman times. It was clear to the Romans that great wine could be made here and DNA evidence now shows that Syrah is in fact indigenous to the Rhône.

The terroir is predominantly granite and lastly, blends of the wines are mostly single grape varieties. Only four grape varieties are permitted in AOC blends: Syrah, Viogner, Marsanne, and Roussanne (as compared to the 19 permitted varieties allowed in Châteauneuf). The red wines are nearly all Syrah and Condrieu and Château Grillet must be 100% Viogner. The whites of Hermitage, Saint Joseph, Saint Péray, and Crozes-Hermitages may only be blends of Marsanne and Roussanne.

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When buying red Burgundy, I think we should remember:

1. Big wines do not age better than light wine.
2. A so-called great vintage at the outset does not guarantee a great vintage for the duration.
3. A so-called off vintage at the outset does not mean the wines do not have a brilliant future ahead of them.
4. Red Burgundy should not taste like Guigal Côte-Rôtie, even if most wine writers wish it would.
5. Don’t follow leaders; watch yer parking meters.

Inspiring Thirst, page 174


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