Jean-Michel Stéphan: If You Know, You Know
Jean-Michel Stéphan has garnered a following with his ethereal expressions of Côte-Rôtie from the Northern Rhône Valley in France. As a young man, he spent time working with the venerable Jean-Paul Brun of Domaine Terres Dorées in Beaujolais. So it is no surprise that he has taken a similar approach to his style.
His family’s vineyards had long sold their grapes to Guigal, until Jean-Michel took the helm of his family’s holdings in 1991. His holdings stretch over 4.5 hectares covering some of the most highly acclaimed vineyards in Bassenon, Semons, and Tupin. He has significant plantings of a clone of Syrah locals call “Sérine”.
Some say Sérine is an old-clone of Syrah some claim it is an entirely different grape variety, but we can all agree that it produces some of the most delicious expressions of Côte-Rôtie.
Formerly this bottling was a cuvée called “Nature” and was a collection of ten different parcels. Today, it dons its single-vineyard origin, “Les Binardes”, located within the Côte Blonde below Tupin. It is 90% Syrah and 10% Viognier that is co-planted and co-fermented.
Coteaux de Bassenon, Côte-Rôtie 2017
This wine shows a concentration of fruit but is balanced by elegance and finesse few producers can capture in Côte-Rôtie. The oldest vineyards were planted in 1896 and 1902 and at present 60% of the vineyards are planted to Syrah, 30% to Sérine, and 10% to Viognier.
We cannot stress enough how limited these wines are, but we are incredibly excited to share them with you. They are perfect to stock your cellars and will age gracefully for a very long time.