Maison Les Alexandrins Côte-Rôtie Rouge - 2020
History has it that vines were planted here centuries ago. Two thousand years ago the Latin authors Martial, Pline l’Ancien, Columelle and Plutarque called the wine from Côte Rôtie “Vin Viennois”. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the reputation of the wines from Ampuis just grew bigger. Before the revolution wines from Côte Rôtie were sent to Royal tables around the world; England, Russia, Prussia and France. The vineyard reached its peak in 1890. Every inch of sunny hillside was planted with vines. At this time, the outbreaks of Phyloxera and other diseases didn’t demotivate the winegrowers. Unfortunately World War One will ruin all their efforts. Over 150 men were sent to war and the vineyards were abandoned. It is only in the sixties that the vineyard was attended again.
The vineyard of Côte Rôtie is located on the hills of the right bank of the Rhône river. Some of the slopes exceed 60%. The vineyard is located at an altitude ranging between 180 and 325 metres and is composed of 73 localities.
The main stone is granite covered in places by schist but also sand and calcareous soils.
For the most part, our wine comes from the southern part of the appellation; Côte Blonde and Coteau de Tupin. We wished to make wines with great distinction but also with elegance and finesse rather than wines from the north that tend to be harder and more powerful.
After the hail damage of 2019, we had to nurse our vineyards back to health with a range of gentle but complementary nutrients. This made 2020 a technically exacting year, especially since the weather reserved many surprises for us. Spring was extraordinarily hot and dry and, despite a short break in June when some welcome rain fell, summer saw a continuation of drought conditions right up until the harvest. With a high risk of mildew at the start of the season, constant and unpredictable winds, powdery mildew half way through the season and the threat of high temperatures and scorching, we were spared nothing, and it required a major effort to cope. Fortunately, the occasional shower, fairly cool nights and morning dew meant the vines did not suffer too much from the summer heat, and all our hard work seems to have paid off with the promise of a fine vintage. To avoid the hottest moments of the day, we began picking from 6 am so as to pick the grapes while they were cool. We began with the whites on August 19 and continued with the reds through until September 16. First tastings revealed aromatic wines of great freshness, with degrees rarely exceeding 13.5°. After so many twists and turns, it is a vintage that reverts to origin in a very “Northern Rhône” style, after the mediterranean vintages of 2018 and 2019.
The vineyard of Côte Rôtie is located on the hills of the right bank of the Rhône riverto the north and south of the village of Ampuis. Some of the slopes exceed 60%. The vineyard is located at an altitude ranging between 180 and 325 metres and is composed of 73 different localities.
Maceration and fermentation for about 20 days with pumping-over for the first few days followed by punching-down. Ageing in 1-year-old barrels for 15 months.
Beautiful deep-red colour with shiny reflections. Very elegant, the nose offers a superb aromatic bouquet with aromas of small red fruit punctuated by notes of smoked bacon and cold ash. Plenty finesse on the palate, dense, intense, suave, with silky and velvety tannins and a long finish supported by good acidity. A wine definitely under the sign of elegance.
Currently this wine needs to be decanted at least an hour before serving.
Drink in it’s youth: Slow roasted lamb will be a great match for this wine.
Syrah : 98 %
Viognier : 2 %