Côte Rôtie: Domaine Champet 'La Viallière' 2020
Never amongst the heaviest wines at Côte-Rôtie, this is a Domaine associated with elegance and finesse. The Champet wines are 'bien classique' with fine berry fruit and violet aromas preceding a palate of dark, orchard fruit and well-integrated tannins.
This is a traditional Côte-Rôtie wine - the hand-harvested grapes are not de-stalked before pressing and the fermented juice is racked into used oak demi-muids and foudres for a year before bottling. There is no fining or filtration and a modest (circa 5%) Viognier content is vinified along with the Syrah as a field blend.
The finished wine has a lovely purple robe, enticing black berry and cherry scents and a mid-weight peppery palate with earthy undertones and a fresh acidity. It readily supports 3-5+ years bottle age and offers consistent value for money.
This Côte-Rôtie from Domaine Champet has engendered a loyal local following who appreciate its unembellished style and price.
|Style||Red Wine, Sec, Medium-bodied, Non Sparkling|
|Wine Region||Rhône, Côte-Rôtie|
|Grape Variety (Cépage)||Syrah, Viognier|
|Food & Wine Matching||Beef, Cheese, Lamb, Mushrooms, Pheasant and Game|
|Cellarage||Approachable from bottling this wine will age well in the medium term, 5 to 10 years.|
|Vinification||The Champet wine-making ethos is traditional, with no de-stemming and a 2 to 3 week cuvaison in cement vats with a little remontage. The wine is then racked into 550 litre demi-muids for 18 months prior to bottling. There is no fining or filtration.|
|Alcohol By Volume (%)||13|
Situated on the steep 'La Viallière' lieu-dit on the mica and schist slopes of the Côte Brune, Emile and later son Joël Champet transformed a number of overgrown terraces on 50+ degree slopes over the 3 decades they worked together. Joël took over 2 hectares of vines from his father Emile in 1985, and passed to his sons Romain and Max some 4.5 hectares in 2017.
The vineholdings of the domaine lie in a single block in 'La Viallière' just to the north of Ampuis. This is a traditional estate producing 'single vineyard' wine of great typicality following the family style.
“Full wines made in the traditional way, unchanged over the past decades.”
- John Livingstone-Learmonth - drinkrhone.com
"Stylistically, I find Champet’s Côte Rôtie the closest thing to a big Côte de Nuits Burgundy than any Côte Rôtie made by his peers."
Robert Parker - robertparker.com
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